John writes: "I'm a retired engineer serving Christ in prison ministry."
Witness to The King on a Donkey
It’s time. He’s coming. You’re there among the pressing crowd outside
Jerusalem’s gate. Whether reader or listener, willing or not, you’re there.
You struggle to see past flailing arms and the colorful, cloth-covered heads of ancient humanity. You raise your arms to fend off the palm leaves they are waiving that brush close to your face. Ruddy, sunburned faces peer past you, as if you’re not there. But you see them and their eyes tell a story. Some are friend, some are foe. Some appear mildly curious, some appear gleeful. Others have a look of hatred, their eyes dart about, as if their thoughts were exposed to Him. A few men are crying.
A woman stands close by. Her face is drawn from exhaustion. Her eyes, red and swollen reveal a torment of knowing; a prophecy being fulfilled is breaking her heart. You know of her.
Cries of desperation and praise rising from the throng reach a crescendo, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” The air about you is ionized. The hair on your arms and neck are statically charged. You have the sense that tens of thousands of angels are covering the hillsides, whispering words of comfort to their Master. He’s coming.
What will He look like? Memories of stories read and songs sung paint images of Jesus in your mind. You see the Infant Child in the manger, the Young boy seated among the elders of the Temple, the carpenter working alongside Joseph and the man baptized in the Jordan. You recall the seemingly countless and varied images of Jesus on church walls, in painted murals along the freeway and on walls of old city buildings, on post cards in the shops and malls, the homeless man, bearded and long haired that you ignored on the street yesterday. He is depicted as being white, black, Latino, Asian, Middle-Eastern. Is He like any of those images? In your heart, you know this Jesus.
No, wait! Perhaps you’re from the newer, secular generation; self sufficient and intellectually charged to observe all political correctness. There were no images of Jesus! There were no manger, no cross in your town. No celebrated Christmas or Easter – just holidays. Such
“religious” images had no place in your life. You’re unprepared for this encounter. If He weren’t atop a donkey, if you hadn’t a vague recollection of having been told about Him, what manner of person would you expect to see? Why are you there, just beyond the city gate?
He’s close by now. The donkey’s hooves clogging on cobbled stones slow to announce His presence. There is no crowd. There is just you and this King on a donkey. He stops in front of you, silent. He’s beautiful! He’s looking right at you with loving, understanding eyes that penetrate your very heart and soul. His eyes tell you that you are known and loved. He has always loved you unconditionally. You know it. What are you to Him? Lover? Doubter? Hater? Scoffer?
This King on a Donkey is on His Cross. You’re at the gate. He is risen! You’re at the gate.
(© 2012 John Miller – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)