april's thinking about jesus again...

So last Sunday was Palm Sunday. That's the day where we remember Jesus as he entered into the city on the donkey and all the people waved palm branches, made a path on the ground with their cloaks, and shouted HOSANNA! As much as I have grown up in the church, I guess I've just never really explored the Easter Holiday any more than understanding what it symbolizes or celebrates. And of course we enjoy our traditional Easter baskets from mom and a good family dinner.

So Tommy was preaching on the significance of Jesus' entry on the donkey and I was fascinated! I've always been taught that the donkey was a symbol of Christ's humility. The donkey is a lowly animal, common, and small. The donkey was a reminder that Christ was humble and human. And the people were shouting Hosanna! because they realized that Jesus was a King. (or did they?) But that's another set of thoughts.

So here's a bit of history for you. In ancient times, whenever a Kingdom was at battle against other nations the King would ride a stallion into battle. That striking horse was a symbol that the King was powerful, that their nation was at war, and that the King was fighting for victory. And when the war was over and the King had conquered, he would find a donkey and he would enter the gates of his kingdom on that donkey to bring a message that their kingdom was now at peace.

And do you know what "Hosanna!" means? It is a term that means "Bring salvation now!"

Jesus was entering into that city, being recognized as their King, and he was riding on a donkey. He was basically SCREAMING a message of peace to all the people. The message of Palm Sunday is a huge one and there are likely many points to emphasize. But ultimately it is a message that God is a King of Peace and that his reign is a victorious one. And I know that sounds churchy but it's a message that I overlook so easily. Day after day I live as a Christian and I mingle with people and it's not hard to recognize that I am a Christian. But WHY am I a Christian? Why do I live this way? Why have I chosen to keep this faith?

Tommy(our Pastor) was talking a little more about Christ as the King of Peace. He said that there was this guy he knew who was at a place in his life where he was evaluating Christianity and trying to decide if he wanted to become a Christian. So he went around and asked his Christian friends, "Why did you choose Christianity?" People gave him all sorts of elaborate answers. People gave him bullet pointed lists of theological proofs and all of those answers just overwhelmed him. And then he went to another friend and asked the same question. I think Tommy said the guy was a big influential person who had a lot of brains and respect. And the guy's answer was "I needed peace, and Jesus Christ brought me peace."

This week as I am thinking about Easter and what it means to be a Christian, and the reality of grace and grace and more grace in my life....I can't help but smile when I realize that the donkey was showing me more than Christ's humility and humanity, but it is showing me that true peace comes from the King who is my God.

1 comment:

stace said...

Wow! Deep thoughts! That's good! Never heard it that way before! :) thanks!