Note: If you’re reading along in the NT with me, today’s reading is Mark 11.
Have you ever been wonderfully surprised by the unexpected? Like a piece of candy that you expected to be sweet but was also was just a bit salty. Have you been inspired by things that were just better than they had to be? Like a sunset that was more than just the sky getting dark. It included red and pink, purple and blue, grey and white in the perfect brush strokes of the hand of God. Or maybe you’ve had a moment of awe by seeing something that is beautiful at first sight, but gets more beautiful the more you look it at? Like a diamond that reflects light in a new way from every angle.
This is Jesus. Somehow from every angle, he’s a bit more beautiful. We know he’s good, but somehow everything we discover about him reveals that he’s even better than we knew before. He’s unexpected in a wonderful sort of way. We see that in Mark 11 this morning.
7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
– Mark 11:7–10 ESV
Jesus rides into Jerusalem, hailed by a crowd of people laying their coats before him as he rode past. This was the entrance of a king in this day. And king he was! He used his words to stop the storm, fed 5000 with a few loves and fish, he even raised the dead. But Jesus is no ordinary King. When he makes his kingly entry, he does it on a borrowed donkey, riding on a saddle made of coats.
Of course, as unexpected as this was, his kingship shines through again as he fulfills long before given prophesy. “Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey. (Zec 9:9)”
He’s the King! He’s righteous and holds salvation in his hand. And he’s a meek and lowly, riding a donkey. This is what Jonathan Edwards called the “diverse excellencies of Christ.” In other words, he’s all excellent, but in so many ways its impossible to name them all.
Hebrews invites us to come near to God because “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.” Reflect this morning on the wonder of Jesus. Especially his power and kingship, mixed with his gentleness and meekness. Remember than your King is powerful over every aspect of your day, and meek and humble enough to sympathize with all the struggles your day has ahead. I’ll let Mr. Ryle close us out with something he wrote in 1859.
“If we saw His divine acts only, we might forget that He was man. If we saw His seasons of poverty and weakness only, we might forget that He was God. But we are intended to see in Jesus, divine strength and human weakness united in one person. We cannot explain the mystery; but we may take comfort in the thought, ‘this is our Saviour, this is our Christ,—one able to sympathize, because He is man, but one Almighty to save, because He is God.'”
– J.C. Ryle