Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Ride On Ride On In Majesty"1 (Lyrics)
Zechariah 9:9 – Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (NIV)
Luke 19:29-31 – As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.'" (NIV)
Years ago, I wrote a devotional for Palm Sunday entitled, "Donkey Business". I did not realize it at the time, but since then, I have had the opportunity to hear several inspired teachings that gave me a deeper appreciation for the donkey's role in God's plan of salvation.
The colt depicted in today's Scripture is highly significant, albeit one of the most overlooked characters in the gospel narrative. Consequently, I prepared a Bible study for my church group encouraging them to consider this old, familiar story from a different perspective — from the donkey's point of view.
What lessons can be drawn from an untamed, never-before-ridden young colt? How was this donkey fit for such an important task and ready for royal duty to serve the King of kings?
Here are just a few points to contemplate and discuss with family or friends on this Palm Sunday:
- The donkey was chosen by God and his role announced many years in advance. By comparison, we, too, have been elected for a specific purpose in God's plan. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
- The donkey was tied outside in the street. Although seemingly neglected, in reality, this particular animal was set aside for such a time as this. Yet, first, he had to be untied. So, too, we also have been set free from the bondage of sin to fulfill God's purpose for our lives. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32 NIV)
- The donkey was used for God's glory. The colt's purpose was to make Jesus more visible to the crowds along the roadside. Likewise, we are called to exalt the Lord above ourselves so that He may receive the glory for all that He has done. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)
What other observations can you make by reading the accounts of Palm Sunday in
Prayer: Dear Lord, with hearts full of praise, we thank You for the first Palm Sunday celebration and for the lowly, untrained colt that was assigned to accomplish Your mission. In the same way, where You have need, enable us to do Your will while lifting Your name on high, so that others may be drawn to Yourself. In Jesus' holy name, we pray. Amen.