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March 28, 2021

The Donkey is the Sign of Divine Power

Pastor KJ Kim

Mark 11: 1-11

In our experience Palm Sunday is often a day to celebrate the story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem by waving the palm branches while marching down the center aisles of the sanctuary
just as we did this morning.

With this procession, we may tend to think of Jesus’ entry on the Palm Sunday as a victorious entry; however, it may not capture the import of this passage.

Who would have thought that people’s joyful shouting, “Hosanna,” on Palm Sunday had to turn to be the most painful grief for Jesus’ death on the cross on Good Friday?

What I’d like to focus on this passage is that Jesus demonstrated a different kind of power.
The power Jesus exemplified was not the kind of power that was normally associated with kingship or political leadership, but was a different kind of power.

By riding a donkey, Jesus turned imperial notions of power and rule on people’s head. In other words, he showed an alternative power that opened our eyes to see and live in the world in a new way with a totally different understating of “power.”

Generally, we understand power as an ability and capacity to do something. Yet, the power Jesus showed was different from this. By contrast, the power Jesus lived out was that he did not do something, although he could.

Jesus could have, but he didn’t. Jesus could have ridden a white or black horse instead of a donkey, but he didn’t. The night Jesus was arrested, he and his disciples could have fought, but they didn’t. Jesus had lots of chances and even power and ability not to die on the cross, but he didn’t.

Jesus could have, but he didn’t because Jesus had in him the character of God. And the character of God was not just power but the restraint of power. That was what divine power means. That was the power that revealed through the donkey. Indeed, this power may be revealed within and through us when we could have, but we didn’t.

Today’s passage invites us into the place where we may not feel comfortable, we belong.
Why? We know this parade is not going to end in the City Park with a big rally and a band and trumpets, but is going to the cross. Perhaps, we could have stopped this journey a long time ago. Some people already have, but we didn’t, although we could have.

How can we keep journeying toward the cross? We all trust that neither life nor death, things present, things to come, height, depth, angels, demons, anything else in all creation, nothing, nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”


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