5 ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ~ Matthew 21:5 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)
Excitement is in the air! Can you feel it? The Lord has begun his passion and our King has come on the back of a donkey! The world is about to change forever! Prophecy is about to be fulfilled! In reflection, this moment in history would have been one of the most awesome spectacles in all of human history. There would have been no other time we would have seen Jesus at his best, bringing Gods message to the masses. I often think that He must have had a great smile on his face, the weight of the world resting on Him and He knowing the mission was about to be over. Soon, He would seal His fate and Gods people would soon be saved. In retrospect, I also think how awesome this moment would have been for His disciples; think about what they had been through, all the miracles they had seen, all the words of wisdom and truly electrifying preaching they had heard. So when Jesus told two of His disciples to go get a donkey and her colt and that they will be waiting and if anyone asks what they were doing for them to say, ‘The Master needs them!’ and the animals will be handed over, must have left in their minds the question; ‘How would Jesus have to known about the Donkey and the colt and what their owner would say before it happened?’ No wonder Jesus tells us mortals, “Yeah of little faith!” Honestly, the disciples should not have any wonderings or questions regarding what Jesus was doing because by this time they should truly believe and trust in him. But as is mention in the bible the disciples do not say they are his followers or friends of Jesus when the soldiers took him. Some of us are still like that crowd that went to see Jesus entering into Jerusalem. We say that we follow God but we do not know why, we have wonderings, we are seeking answers, or like sheep asleep in our faith we simply follow the crowd. We should be more focused on the ‘GOOD NEWS OF GOD!’ Jesus was entering into Jerusalem already filled with humility, peace, and victory; which he was sent on this earth to bring to us, His perfect love, peace, and justice. Truly in this moment, Jesus was teaching us by modeling with actions and by His words of how to treat others as well as how to live the commandments of God!
Even though Jesus knew that people were going to deny him and betray him, he still talks to them and reached to them and prayed for them.
59 “Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, ‘This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.”’ 62 The high priest stood up and said, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ 63 But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, ‘I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ 64 Jesus said to him,
‘You have said so. But I tell you from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.’ 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68 saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?’”~ Matthew 26:57-68 (NRSVACE)
The doors to Jerusalem is thrown open! The Lord of life eternal is riding down the road! People are throwing their garments and stripping palms from the trees before him! The crowd is praising Him! But this is not how Jesus concurs, for the way He fulfills His mission is through blood and through death! In this moment I am struck by how happy everyone was and how willing to praise and glorify Jesus yet days later they would all but abandon Him. How many times in my life have I turned away from God, yet through reflection can I see his mission working for me, through me, and with me! Each task I am given is the next stone higher being supported by the foundations laid for me on that day for my personal salvation through Christ as his house is being built within me through His victory on the cross! How many times have I been called names, my words twisted so unjust charges can be hurled at me, how many times have people let me down personally. My human emotions tell me to cut them off, to walk away from them forever, but my heart which is with God tells me to forgive and to build and to love them anyway, as I have given it to God. Thinking of how Jesus dealt with those who betrayed Him, I have to say not one word of hatred came from His mouth. How disciplined His words and actions when being interrogated. How quickly He showed true authority over the word of God. This is the model we all need to follow when people test our character, morality, and our faith! He never told lies about people, Jesus never twisted others words who ridiculed Him; Jesus indeed is the way, the life, and the light of the world.
49 “But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection, they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ ~ Matthew 27: 49-56 (NRSVACE)
How many times have we thought someone had done something against us then to find out they did not or that they were innocent? How many times have we ourselves been blamed but was innocent? In either case, we are not as innocent as Jesus on that day He was crucified. I often think how much we have to learn when it comes to being a child of God. There is nothing we can do about our own sin, but Jesus could and did in giving His perfect life to bring us closer to God. To be forgiven, I mean truly forgiven means we need to first forgive others and rebuild the bridges that had been burned. In this time of Holy Week, we need to contemplate our own salvation; our relationship with Christ. Our Father in heaven so loved us that He gave to us His only son Jesus. That is so powerful, so humbling, and so merciful of our God to have done what He did. Let now your contemplation connect with God and let his spirit fill your heart renewing your soul and dedication to God and the mission he has set us all on.
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