Before He was even born, Jesus traveled on the back of a donkey. He was safely protected from the bumps and crevices on the rugged road. Tucked away in His mother’s womb, it wouldn’t be long and He’d be born to set the wheels in motion for changing the world forever.
The pack animal trudged over difficult terrain. The man guided him. The woman clung tightly to the reins as the first birth pains began. They traveled about a hundred miles to the city of their ancestor, King, David. The town of Bethlehem was bustling and overcrowded with others who had also come to be counted in the census. God’s plan for salvation was being transported on a beast of burden.
That very night, the child would be born in a lowly animal dwelling, because they could find no other place. The dark, smelly stable would become the birthing place. The animals were witness to the greatest birth ever to occur. Away from the elements, in deepest humility, the Son of God was born.
Thirty three years later, that child had grown into a man. His popularity was growing every day. People flocked to hear His words of promise and hope for freedom. They thought He’d come to deliver them from their oppressors. They thought He would bring back the glory of King David and establish His kingdom once more. They looked at Him as more than a miracle worker. They saw Him as one who would bring them earthly glory once more.
It was time to complete His mission – not the one expected by the people, but the one laid out at the beginning of time by His Father – a plan to deliver the world from the sting of death. Through this young man, the iniquities of the entire world would be laid. He would carry the burden. He would be the perfect sin bearer – the Lamb of God.
He instructed His disciples to go to Jerusalem and get a donkey and her foal. He would have need of them the next day. He assured them they’d have no problem finding the animals. It was all part of the plan. When they arrived and saw the animals standing there, they told the owner that the Lord had need of them. Without hesitation, the owner untied them and sent them off with the disciples. Jesus would make His entrance into Jerusalem as a conquering hero – as did His ancestor, David, many years before.
Why didn’t He choose a magnificent, white stallion, garbed in war armor and meticulously cleaned and brushed? Instead the King of Creation was carried into the holy city on the back of a donkey. Even though He didn’t look like a warrior, He’d surely come up with some kind of miracle – some amazing act to destroy their enemies – They gathered palm branches and placed them in His path. They shouted, “Hosanna” as He passed through the streets. Their hope was renewed. The Messiah had come.
In just one week, this same crowd would shout, “Crucify Him, crucify Him” as His beaten, bloody body was paraded down the same road, carrying the instrument of His execution. This man of sorrows was on His way to Calvary, carrying the burden of the sin of the world on His own back.