Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday Pietro Lorenzetti

Bit Parts in the Easter Story – The Colt

The Unridden Colt  – Luke 19:28-41

Go over to this place, there’s a colt tied up there and it’s never been ridden.  Bring it to me.

Oh yeah, if anybody asks you what you’re doing, this is what you are to say to them…

The Lord needs it.

“But what if they put up a fight?”

Peter, they won’t put up a fight.

“What if they want us to pay for it?”

Matt, that won’t be an issue.

“I really don’t think anybody’s just going to let you take their donkey.  Just don’t see it happening.”

Thomas, go get me a donkey.

So that part isn’t in there and 100% of scholars that I consulted on the issue agree that it isn’t in there.

What is in there, though, is this story of Jesus riding a colt into the city.  A humble and simply unmajestic colt.  Or that’s what we tend to think.

Riding a colt into Jerusalem… it’s been done before.  This is not a new thing.

David did it (2 Samuel 16:2.)  Solomon did it (1 Kings 1:38-40.)  And it’s foretold in Zechariah 9:9 that a King will “cometh unto thee, meek and sitting upon an…”  Well, you get the idea.  It’s another word for donkey.  (HCSB)

So Kings have ridden into Jerusalem on donkeys.

Maybe that’s where part of the confusion lies.  The disciples and the followers and just about everybody who isn’t part of the Temple complex (priests, high priests, scribes, Pharisees, etc) is on board with a new King and with that new King being a guy who prays really well, teaches really well and can raise the odd Lazarus from the dead.  I could get behind a King like that.

The people want the Roman occupation out.  They want the corrupted Temple system fixed.  They want the daily injustices and persecutions against them to cease.  They want a leader who will solve problems and not sell out to Rome.  And they think that Jesus is that guy.  They think he’s going to walk on water all the way to Rome and bring some of that Sodom and Gomorrah down on the Coliseum and the Imperial Palace.  Then he’s going to come back to Jerusalem and give all the centurions the boot and possibly drown the Pharisees in the Dead Sea.

That’s how you make salt salty again.

Then he’ll sit on a thrown that he himself built (hello, carpenter) and will rule in peace for a thousand years.  And everything’s going to be ok.

Because that’s what people are really good at, especially for long periods of time.  Peace.

So we have the cloaks on the ground and the palm branches and people singing and shouting Psalm 118 and the followers calling him “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” (“Glo-ry”, clap, “Hal-le-lu-jah”).

Except Jesus is about to weep for the sorrows awaiting the city and its people.  Nothing says “triumphal” like almost mourning.

Here we are.  Amidst all the misled and the misleading, the misunderstood and the misunderstanding, there’s this donkey colt.  This never-before ridden beast of burden plodding along carrying a man toward his own beastly burden.  A forgotten creature in the story of Salvation.

That’s who we want to be.  That’s what he needs from us.

We want to be one that “The Lord needs” and sends for.

We are to be the one to carry him wherever we go.  We are to lift him up.  We are to be beneath, unseen, invisible, forgotten and at times ignorant.

He is to be our burden.  We cannot bear the weight of the darkness of this world that He will, no matter how much we want to or how hard we try.  Our only burden is to bear the bearer of all burdens to the world he came for.

And that’s a yoke that’s easier to bear.



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