Donkey (End of Series) It would not be wrong for us to say that Jesus was an unexpected Messiah to the Jews. They had expected a political figure who would chase the Romans into the sea and establish an earthly throne in Jerusalem and set up a political kingdom that the likes of David would only have dreamed about. When Jesus came and established a heavenly kingdom - a kingdom of the heart - many expectations were disappointed.
But this was not a completely unexpected development... There are Old Testament prophecies that portray this aspect of Jesus coming. We have already looked at Isaiah's images of the suffering servant and here in Zechariah we have another example...
What animal would one expect a coming Messiah to ride? Our imaginations swing to a great white stallion - a symbol of power, strength, and victory. What connotations come from riding a donkey's foal? The foal of the donkey was the mode of transport for the elderly or children. It would be the mount chosen by a soothsaying prophet or a wise hermit.
Riding a donkey is not the declaration of war, but a statement of the intent of peace. This was Jesus' mode of transport on Palm Sunday as He entered Jerusalem. It was a week before Passover, Jerusalem was full of pilgrims, they were remembering the miraculous Exodus from Egypt and so nationalistic fervour ran high. Jesus sent a crystal clear message on that day: His kingdom was not an earthly kingdom. He was not willing to go to war to obtain peace. He came not as a Victor, but a Victim, and He would grant salvation by giving Himself.
Usually we consider this prophecy at Easter, but it is appropriate for Christmas too as one of the favourite titles for Jesus at Christmas time is "Prince of Peace".
Jesus was born into a world where a petty regional governor (Herod) wouldn't hesitate to commit (horrific) infanticide to protect his power-base. Jesus was born into a world where his parents could only afford to offer pigeons as a thanksgiving for His birth. He was born into a world of oppression, uncertainty and danger - and He was called "Prince of Peace".
These risks and pains continued to be part of His life and when He rode into Jerusalem 33 years later, facing betrayal, trumped up charges, mistreatment and death, He rode the predicted but unexpected donkey-foal because He is able to bring peace to you and me.
This ends our series on Advent Prophecies. I haven't handled all of the general Messianic Prophecies but I've also done a few that aren't normally associated with Advent/Christmas. My hope has been to paint a broad picture of what Jesus came to to do and what His mission was.
All that remains to do is wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christ-mass. (While "mass" is usually associated with communion, it also denotes thanksgiving.) I pray that you will rest, renew, celebrate and worship during this wonderful time.
May you know Christ as your
Everlasting Father and
Prince of Peace.
|Rejoice greatly O Daughter of Zion! |
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
See, Your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah9:9)
EmmDevs while resume when schools start in the new year.
Thank you for journeying with me this year and for the kind and constructive feedback I have received from so many of you...
God bless and Love,