I was reading through Matthew last night and came to the part with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This passage is common around Easter as Christians around the world prepare their hearts for Easter weekend, but as I read this year, verse 5 drew my attention:
““SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’ ”” – Matthew 21:5 (NASB)
“Behold your King is coming to you… Gentle, and mounted on a donkey…” As I read that, my heart was met with the words:
“You worry about many things (many that don’t even happen). But your King came gently and humbly, and He loves you. Trust Him.”
That first part there, “you worry about many things,” echoed the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42:
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”” – Luke 10:38-42 (NASB)
I don’t know about you, but I always read that story wanting to be more like Mary but knowing full-well that I am more like Martha. I have a high propensity towards burnout, and it takes effort for me to be ok with slowing down. Thankfully, God has been gently teaching me how to change that mindset.
We have such a beautiful reminder in Matthew 21:5. Jesus was on His way to what He knew would be a painful death, and yet, there is a pause to remind us that He, the King of Kings, rode in gently and humbly on a donkey. He came face to face with His accusers, allowing them to ridicule and beat Him. He could have called on God to send angels to save Him (Matthew 26:53-54), but He stayed quiet and submitted to what God had sent Him to do… for us.
God sent His only Son, His beloved Son… to die… for us. So we could be saved. So we could be reconciled to Him and freely draw close to Him. He was bound and beaten, so we could be free.
There is a lot of unknown in the world right now, but we have an open invitation to come to the One who does know. There is a lot of rush and hurriedness and stress, yet this weekend we celebrate the One who calmed storms, healed disease, and defeated death. This weekend, in the midst of chaos in the world, we celebrate the Prince of Peace.
If you find yourself worried about many things, take a moment to rest. I think back to the story of Mary and Martha, and I so want to sit at Jesus’ feet and just listen. Can you imagine? Jesus right in front of you, taking the time to teach you? I would never want to leave.
The good news is, we can do that. Even if Jesus is not physically visible in front of us, we learn when we read God’s Word. We find peace when we focus on Him. We find our rest when we allow the Prince of Peace to rule our hearts.
He is our Lord, but that doesn’t mean He rules with a heavy hand. He is strong, but He doesn’t seek to take advantage of us. Rather, He uses His strength to protect us, His gentleness to teach us, and His love to draw us near.
Learning to not worry is a process for sure – one I am not nearly finished learning. But this Easter and in the days that follow, we are invited to remember that our King has come, and He has chosen to do so gently and humbly. And yet, He is strong and mighty to save. He loves us; we can trust Him.
So, worry not, Love, your King is here. Rest in Him tonight as you learn to turn to Him to teach you. When the worries of life distract you from His truth, He will still be there to show you peace. He loves you so much, He was willing to lay down His life to save you. Whatever it is that is on your heart, you can trust Him with it.
Father, we thank you tonight for everything You have done. You didn’t have to save us, but in Your perfect love, You chose to. Even with all of this, we slip back into worry and stress. Please teach us to trust You more, hesitate less, and seek Your truth above everything else that we are hearing right now. Let this time be one where our hearts are open to You. May our hearts be open to the same resurrection power that raised Jesus that now resurrects each and every one of us too.
We love You. In Jesus’ precious Name we pray,
Here’s to our journey!
Music for the journey:
What Love Is This by Kari Jobe