I used to love cars. Not fast cars, but luxurious cars. When I was younger, my dream car was an Aston Martin Lagonda. It cost $80k at the time, which was a lot of money for a car. (Actually it’s still a lot of money for a car). If I remember correctly, it was a V8, and was one of the most luxurious cars at the time. Recently, I was reading about Rolls Royce’s first venture in electric vehicles, and they produced an equally luxurious electric Rolls Royce, that would put a Prius driver to shame.
There’s something about cars – they are almost an extension of the owner. A loud speaker system and booming bass lets you broadcast flamboyancy and intensity all from the safety of tinted windows. A hummer limousine with spinners on the tires suggests that the owner has so much money they can afford the petrol for their ride – a life of pure bling.
And so when Jesus comes riding into the city on a colt, what sort of story is he telling.
Matthew 21:5 fulfils a prophecy in Zechariah 9:9
“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'”
Hardly a fitting ride for a king. An awkward picture, of Jesus sitting on a colt, entering the city of Jerusalem. With crowds cheering his entrance, Jesus rode in on the “red carpet” of palm leaves and branches.
It is a juxtaposition of what the people thought he was, and a revelation of who He really was. Jesus was, in many ways, our beast of burden. He bore the weight of us – our sins & our lives – so that we might enter a city in triumph. And although the crowds cheered him on as he entered, this same crowd were just as eager to shout “Crucify Him!” by the end of the week.
We say we want Jesus to be King in our lives. But do we know what that means? When we see him riding into our hearts on a donkey, are we as willing to be as humble as him? Do we set aside our own “rides” to ride along Christ? The wisdom of this world is foolishness to the wisdom of God.