HE came, on a Donkey
“Praise GOD! Bless The ONE who came in The Name of The LORD! Hail to The King of Israel!” (John 12:13)
JESUS came on the colt of a donkey. When a leader arrived on a donkey, it was a symbol that HE was coming in PEACE. The religious leaders of the community had challenged JESUS throughout HIS ministry, to the point that they were trying to find a way to kill HIM. Yet, JESUS rides into Jerusalem on the symbol of peace, to the praise of the people.
What’s your response to knowing this about JESUS? You might think, “Well, it’s great HE came for them, for HIS Jewish family, but I don’t know that HE came for me.”
HE came to a manger. HE made his entry into the most humble of places. The ONE who merely spoke, and the heavens were created. HE breathed the word, and all the stars were formed. Billions and billions of stars, light years apart…HE just breathed them to be. Wonder why HE didn’t come to a palace, to the most deserving, but instead to a feeding trough in a barn, to two teenage parents. This beginning suggests HE came for us all, not just “the deserving”, “the good” or those born with some special rights.
“That’s nice,” you might think, “but HE couldn’t want me. You have no idea what I have done…HE wouldn’t accept me. There’s no way.”
JESUS stood with a woman caught in adultery, at the hands of an angry mob of men, ready to stone her for her indiscretion. Can you see them, in the town square? They knew she was sleeping with men she wasn’t married to. Finally, they’ve caught her. They’re filled with hate, self-righteous, ready to judge her. A just punishment for a broken law. Can you see her? She’s barely dressed, pulled from the bed of her lover, humiliated, ashamed…looking down.
Into the fray, steps the KING of Kings. HE knows every thought. HE knows the men with stones, their past and inner thoughts. The leaders confront JESUS; they want to know what The Teacher will do with this ‘sinner’. No response. JESUS bends down, drawing in the dust, shifting their attention from this ashamed woman to HIM. They press for an answer. HE stands, looks them in eyes, one by one I imagine, and says, “Go ahead…stone her. Just be sure those who have never sinned throw the first stones.” Then HE bends down again, and scribbles in the dirt. As he scribbles, these men begin to drop their stones. One at a time they slip away.
When they’re gone, it’s just JESUS and this shaken woman, still scantily clad, looking down, ashamed. JESUS asks, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t any of them convict you?” Obviously relieved, expecting to be hit with stones over and over again, but now alone…saved by JESUS. She simply replies no. Standing, looking into her eyes, HE says, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
JESUS came in peace, into a hostile environment, and saved the sinner. She was guilty and she deserved the punishment. JESUS saved her. The ONE who came in peace on the colt of a donkey, who came over and over again saving people throughout the Gospels, still comes to save sinners. Sinners like you and me, who deserve punishment for our sins.
“For The SON of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)
We are not outside the reach of HIS grace. JESUS came for you and me, because all have sinned, and we all need saving. We don’t have to prove we’re somehow better than the sum of our mistakes. We only have to receive our humble SAVIOR. It’s why JESUS came.