Lent devotional 35
Enter Jerusalem, the city streets are filled with celebrating and cheering as a humble and gentle donkey colt strides down the streets.
Palms are laid at the sweet animal’s feet and a sense of pride wells in the donkey’s heart. He is carrying Jesus, as all animals know Jesus is the king of kings, God’s one and only Son; but the donkey senses sonething, a feeling of pain in the heart of his Lord. The donkey is confused and turns his head to nuzzle the King’s foot, a gentle hand strokes the animal’s neck in response. The donkey stretches hard to see Jesus’ face. The beaming smile is a shock to the donkey because it can sense the sadness within the savior’s heart. All the gentle colt can do is continue to carry his Lord.
The animal saw both joy and sorrow and could not understand, but the joy was love for the King’s people, and the sorrow was knowledge that these people were only a breath away from condemning their King to die; but one small donkey showed his love and carried the weight of the savior as the savior carried the weight of the world.
Jesus was recorded as having great anguish as He neared Jerusalem. Anguish that simple human senses could barely begin to understand. To suffer is one thing, but to know you are about to suffer is another. If we saw the suffering that would come in our lives we as people could not handle it. Jesus knew every bit of His suffering to come and that caused Him greater pain than He would have experienced if it had all been a shock or surprise. Days of waiting are too much to bear, but He bore them for us. The false love of the people must have stung and the lies of Judas must have made His heart sick, but He suffered them all because He loves us. Oh what a love that is, who else could give such love? Who else would? Only Jesus loves us so much.
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Lent devotional 34
The steps grow heavy as the hooves near the towering wall. He is afraid. He hears cheering and clicking and crying ahead of him. The smells of the city waft out like air from a grate. A wet drop hits his neck. He turns and sees his companion is crying. His fear grows. Maybe he can run away? Maybe no one will notice? He trudges on. The gates loom over him as he enters the dark opening. A moment of cool shade is followed by blinding light. He squints. The cheers grow louder. He looks around and sees a crowd of people. They wave scary branches at him and drop them for him to step on. If he turn and run now he can get away. Ready? Now. A hand touches his neck and he cringes. The hand pats softly. He looks up. His companion is smiling at him, all tears are gone. He nuzzles the man’s knee. The hand continues to rub gently and the fear melts away. This is okay. It’s all going to be okay. He doesn’t know how or why, just that it is. The man gets off and whispers in his ear, “well done.”
Imagine the fear and sorrow Jesus must have felt entering Jerusulem that day. The menacing wall. The dark gate entrance. The noises beyond and what awaited Him later on. He had determined to go forth, but He must have thought about running away. Maybe not. Maybe that is my human mind talking and saying what I would have felt. Just turn around, no one will notice. But He was doing the work of His father. He would never run from His Father’s wishes. I bet the donkey wanted to. He was a baby. All these sights and smells would have been new to him. The palm branches slippery under foot and the cheering croud deafening. But Jesus’ presence calmed him. Perhaps they led his mother ahead of him to keep him stable, but there is no record of that, no, I believe it was Christ’s presence that calmed the baby’s fears, even though He had fear Himself. What a king. What a savior. What a friend. To go through such horrors for a fading flower like me.
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