My wife has always liked horses. Horses are amazing animals. They are intelligent, graceful, and trusting if treated well. A horse can travel long distances, pull wagons and coaches, and run very fast. Donkeys have some of the same traits as horses, but they have a charm and personality of their own. Donkeys are often used to haul cargo and tend to be slower and steadier.
In ancient Israel it was significant if the king was riding a horse or riding a donkey. A donkey was for normal travel. It meant the king was coming in peace. A king riding a horse meant the king was coming to make war.
Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, just like it was prophesied in Zechariah 9: 9-10. “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus rode in on a donkey to proclaim Himself as king. But He was more than a king. Jesus was also the Lamb of God. He rode into Jerusalem in humility, lowly, and He came in peace. He came to bring peace in a way that no one could have expected. He is the Prince of Peace.
Colossians 1:19-20 says, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (NIV)
This is the good news of the church. We can have peace with God and eternal life through His blood shed on the cross. We are living in the day of grace.
We also know from scripture that Jesus is coming again. When He does, Jesus will be riding a white horse.
In Revelation 19:11 we read, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” (NIV)
The day of grace is today. Tomorrow could be too late. Have we lost our sense of urgency as a church? We have spent a lot of time and resources on dealing with problems within the church, but recently we have hit a kind of reset button.
The covenant in the Covenant Brethren Church is to follow the Bible in a literal way. We need to shift our focus from within the church to outside the church. We need to take literally the Great Commission in Matthew 28. We need to tell the lost about the Jesus who came riding on a donkey – before He comes back on a white horse.
Jim Nolt – CBC Executive Board Member