An Unlikely King
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9–10)
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:7-9)
An Unlikely King
By Ashley Peterson (St. Mark Staff Minister Intern)
Imagine watching a war movie set in the time of the Roman Empire. The plot introduces the main characters, a commander representing good and his enemy from a rival kingdom. The enemy is putting his best efforts forward to overtake the coveted kingdom of the neighboring country. So far, the commander has been able to keep his enemy at bay, but the enemy seems to be gaining more and more land each day. Like the Trojan horse, the enemy tries to overtake the city by attacking from the center and uses disguises and deceit to weasel his way in with his army. The long-awaited and dreaded battle breaks out from the center of the city. Men on horses streak across the screen as others go at each others heads. The dust gets kicked up in the chaos, concealing the battle at hand. Slowly the slashing of swords comes to an end. As the dust settles, you wait for the victorious army to emerge covered in blood. Instead, you see a lowly carpenter riding on the foal of a donkey,
At this point, most people would question what is going on. “Is this the man who just fought the battle and won? It cannot possibly be the right guy.” The same question is asked of Jesus. God sent the prophets to make known the Messiah who was to come and save us from our sinful state, beginning at the fall into sin. The Israelites performed ceremonies and festivals that pointed toward the coming Savior. They heard snippets of who this person was to be through the prophets, such as the scene described in Zechariah. Old Testament people waited for their God to come sweeping through the nation with all his power and authority. To establish a rule here on earth that would put people in their proper place.
When Jesus came to the world as a fragile baby, he was the last thing people expected. He was born to a carpenter father and lived a simple life. He was perfect, so he did not make the same sinful mistakes that we do and performed miracles, but one would think he is just an ordinary man with some special abilities. Not the same power and authority that the Israelites were expecting. Though his humility was not what the Old Testament church expected, he is precisely what we need. A glimpse of his majesty shines through as he enters Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey. He is welcomed like a king entering his city. However, that king-like status is short-lived as you progress through the week and get closer to his death. With each step, his
humiliation cuts deeper. Each perfect step brings him closer to the cross that would mark his victory. He is like no other king that has ruled this world, but he is exactly the king we need.
Song: Wouldn’t It Be Like You by Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Prayer Suggestion: Praise God that he is nothing like what we expect but exactly what we need. Ask him to curb your expectations to reflect what is shown in Scripture and to have unwavering trust in him.