One sleepless night not too long ago, I lay awake, imagining what it must have been like to watch a king enter the ancient city of Jerusalem.
I can still see it vividly in my mind’s eye. Before I can even glimpse the king, trumpets herald his arrival. Soon 40 soldiers enter the crowded city, each proudly straddling a high-stepping stallion. Eyes staring at the road ahead, the men ride ramrod straight, armor and weapons glinting in the sun. Between the two groups of mounted soldiers rolls an ornate carriage, resplendent with gold leaf. Four perfectly matched black stallions, crimson ribbons braided into their manes and tails, pull the carriage effortlessly. In that carriage sits the perfectly tailored king, his brocade coat trimmed in ermine. Rubies and emeralds adorn his fingers. The golden crown, encrusted with precious stones, reflects the bright sunlight. As he passes, the cheering throng bows low, each man hoping the king will scatter some coins his way.
How different was our King’s triumphal entry! No trumpets heralded his arrival. No soldiers or horses came before Him. Instead of an elaborate entourage, He was accompanied by a few simple men, broad shouldered and tanned from hard, outdoor work. They walked alongside Him, wearing roughly woven clothes. Jesus sat astride a young donkey. He wore no gold nor gems, but only a simple cloak and sandals. Although Jesus had no coins to throw to the people, His intangible gifts were far more costly than gold. A slight smile played at the corners of His mouth, but the dark brown eyes filled with sorrow. In spite of His poverty and ordinary appearance, the people sensed something special about this man. They loudly cheered, “Hosanna, King of Kings!” and lay palm branches at His feet.
How quickly the cries of the crowd changed! A few short days later the cheers of “Hosanna” changed to jeers and shouts of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Many of those who had proclaimed Him king now clamored for his death. Even his closest friends ran away and denied they even knew him.
How, I wonder, could these people change so quickly? How could they proclaim him king one day, and not even acknowledge his existence the next? As I sit quietly and think, I realize, with humility and shame, that I have done the very same thing. How many times have I gone on my merry way, never acknowledging Christ as the king of my life, never seeking His divine guidance? How many times do I denying His existence by failing to speak out against injustice or not sharing His good news with another? If He is truly king of my life, why do I not get down on my knees every day and praise my spiritual king?
Jesus, king of my life, help me to bow in humble obedience and recognition of your lordship in my life.
John 12:14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”