9 April 2017
John 12: 18-19
Consider the donkey
Today is Palm Sunday. The first day of what is traditionally known as “Holy Week” or “Passion Week” During this week we will walk with the Savior, observing His Passion. As He approached Jerusalem coming to the Mount of Olives Jesus presents Himself as the Prince of Peace. While many received Him on that day as their royal King, most will reject this prince and His kingdom. This prince will pay the ultimate price for the peace of the world. And for the peace from above. And for our salvation.
The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. Lazarus, who had been dead, was raised to life. So, the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”The world has gone after Him. Or, is it the other way around? Have wayward children gone after the world?
As we review Jesus’ approach to the city, a beast of burden carries our Lord who Himself will carry the burden of the world’s sin –
1. Consider the donkey.
A. Not a symbol of status but was used for service.
1. Jesus is known as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” according to Revelation. In the Nicene Creed, we confess that Jesus is, “…begotten of His ‘Father before all worlds. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made…”
2. Yet He will describe His ministry thus, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)
B. The donkey was not used for battle but for burdens.
1. How fitting that Jesus should be sitting on such a beast of burden for He offers His life for the sins of the world.
2. This is what John had predicted in the desert when he proclaimed Christ. “The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’.” (John 1:29)
The donkey is a perfect reflection of Jesus’ person. She will also reflect on His work.
2. The Colt is a perfect reflection of Jesus’ ministry.
A. He came to bear the burden of people worn down by sin and strife.
1. Strife due to living in an imperfect world filled with sickness, war, strife, etc.
2. Sin, which is the root ill for all men, is what Jesus came to eliminate.
B. Jesus came to bear the ultimate burden – the burden of our sin.
1. Sin of omission – when we had the opportunity to do good but failed. Where we could have prevented evil but chose not to get involved.
2. Sin of commission – offenses against God and our neighbor committed in thought, word and action – only one conclusion can be claimed – we are guilty before God and our neighbor.
The Son of Man the Prince of peace appeared on that first Palm Sunday to offer Himself for the life of the world. Today we offer our praise and we journey with Him as He offers up Himself for the sin of all and for your salvation and life.
Image: Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS