The main lessons we learned from the donkey who led Jesus into Jerusalem were:
- Experience isn’t necessary if God calls you! He equips the called; He doesn’t call the equipped.
- God has chosen us for good works and to serve Him as gladly as the donkey did.
- We need to be ‘untied’ from things which would rob us of the freedom Jesus offers us (see Gal 5:1). God wants us to be free to enjoy His spacious places!
- God comes in peace and in ways that constantly take us by surprise.
- The donkey reminds us that the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
- Acclamation and despair are both short-term responses. God wants us to keep persevering and to keep our eye on the long view. Jesus, ‘for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb 12:2) Jesus wasn’t fooled by how well things seemed to be going on Palm Sunday and He wasn’t in despair over the betrayal of Judas later in the week. He was looking ahead to the fulfilment of the Father’s plan, to the salvation of the world. Isaiah 53:10-11 says ‘though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many and he will bear their iniquities.’
- Death has to precede life; there are no short cuts to glory. ‘Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’ (John 12:24)
If God can use this little donkey to take the Messiah into Jerusalem, He can surely use us, this little group of Christians in Goldthorpe, to carry out His plans and purposes for our community in our time!