Jesus said: “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.” (Matthew 21:2)
THE donkey is mentioned numerous times in the Bible and had a key role in the life of Jesus.
On Palm Sunday a donkey was chosen by Jesus to be his ride into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11).
The fact that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem fulfilled a prophecy spoken 500 years before that the Messiah would ride a donkey into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:5 and Zechariah 9:9).
Have you heard the legend about how the donkey got the cross stripe featured on its back? A legend or a fable is a story that doesn’t pretend to be historical, but simply teaches a lesson.
The events surrounding the suffering and death of Christ gave rise to many legends.
One such legend relates to a donkey.
It is known by Christians that a donkey carried Mary to Bethlehem prior to the birth of Jesus.
The same donkey carried Mary and the baby Jesus on their flight into Egypt to escape the wrath of King Herod when he ordered the slaughter of the Innocents.
Some 33 years later, a donkey once again was chosen for a special mission.
This then is the story of the Cross on the donkey’s back.
Once there was a donkey that was strong and smart, but smaller than the other donkeys. Because of his size, he was often overlooked when people needed a donkey to ride.
One day the donkey stood tethered on the street near one of the gates of Jerusalem.
The city was crowded because of Passover, and donkeys were being used to transport people to various places in the city.
And once again, no one chose this donkey.
But then two men approached and eyed him with interest.
They glanced at each other, nodded, and began to untie him.
A fellow nearby asked what they were doing.
They said, “Our Master told us to get a donkey no one has ridden, and we’re going to bring him this one.”
When they brought the donkey to Jesus, he smiled and climbed on its back.
The donkey proudly began walking into Jerusalem as a crowd of people waved palm branches and cheered, “Hosanna”.
The donkey never stumbled on the cobblestone street or faltered beneath the weight.
As they approached the Temple, Jesus drew the donkey to a halt.
He climbed down, patted the animal’s back, and said, “Well done.”
The next day, people noticed the markings of a cross on the little donkey’s back.
To this day, the smaller breed of donkeys proudly wears the sign of the cross on its back. It’s also told that the leg stripes were received from walking through the palm branches that were laid in its path in honour of the burden the donkey was carrying.
Easter, along with Christmas, is a holiday that is based out of Christianity.
For Christians, traditional holidays like Easter have very special meanings and are a celebration of our faith.
Easter is the observance of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ.
The resurrection of Jesus the Christ is a central doctrine in Christianity.
The resurrection of Jesus marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death.
It is the singular event which proves that those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead.
While we Christians focus our observance of Easter on religious aspects, there are many secular items that overlap in the observance of Easter.
For example, whilst there are many legends about the origins of the Easter Bunny, in medieval times rabbits were associated with the Virgin Mary. Decorating eggs is one of the oldest Easter customs.
Many Catholic and Orthodox Christians dye their Easter eggs red, the colour of blood, in recognition of the blood of Christ. In many historically Christian countries, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent to midday Good Friday.
One theory is that the Hot Cross Bun originates from St Albans, where Brother Thomas Rodcliffe, a 14th Century monk at St Albans Abbey, developed a similar recipe called an Alban Bun and distributed the bun to the local poor on Good Friday, starting in 1361.
Easter represents the fulfilment of God’s promises to humankind. So, during this Easter season, let us give thanks for redemption freely received through Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, and the new life gained from his glorious resurrection. He is risen.
Have a golden day and treasure life.