“See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey…He will proclaim peace to the nations” – Zechariah 9:9-10
Yesterday, Palm Sunday, marked the beginning of Holy Week. Christians around the world follow Jesus’ final footsteps to the cross in an effort to remind us of the beautiful example and sacrifice He gave.
In the Old Testament, Zechariah foreshadows Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Well, it turned out to be a sort of awkward triumphant entry I guess?
In Luke 19 we read the story:
Jesus and his disciples are heading to Jerusalem and he sends a few ahead to borrow a donkey from the next village telling them exactly where they’ll find it tied up. He hops on his make-shift ride and heads into town. The crowds begin to cheer and sing praises, and the Pharisees get anxious worried the Romans may get angry about the whole thing. But the crowd keeps cheering.
And then, as Jesus sees the city he starts to weep.
He started a parade, that’s excitedly about to enter the city, and Jesus is not just shedding a tear of joy, he is weeping.
Because He came to proclaim peace.
But He knows that the people will not respond with peace. He weeps knowing justice and reconciliation are not the natural response.
Jesus enters with a new message for Jerusalem. He enters with a new message for you and me. A message of peace, justice, truth, and reconciliation.
We all have a part to play.
The owner of the donkey played a part. It may seem small to us, but it was big enough to be recorded in history. He gave up his possession, his source of income, his life work, because ‘The Lord needed it’ (Luke 19:34).
Jesus asks us the same. He has chosen to work through us, He wants us to join in, to work for justice, reconciliation and peace. Every day we can choose to join in, by the way we respond to those around us, by the way we serve with dignity and respect, and by the posture of our heart toward justice and reconciliation.
Let’s join in this together as we strive to be “The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.”
all thoughts of truth and peace proceed from you.
Kindle in the hearts of all people the true love of peace.
Guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth;
that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward,
till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland, St. Andrew Press.