Peace on a Donkey (Palm Sunday Sermon during COVID-19)


This is a Palm Sunday sermon I delivered (in digitally pre-recorded slideshow video) for Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, Etobicoke, ON on April 5, 2020 during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Video is above, text is below.

Texts: Matt. 21:1-11; Zechariah 9:9-10; John 14:27

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. And we have often read our Matthew 21 passage during Palm Sunday to remember and celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem that marks, what we call, Holy Week, leading up to Good Friday and Easter.

Now, have you ever thought to yourself, “Why the donkey?” Why not a horse? When you think of a donkey, the first attributes that might come to mind are stubborn, or dumb, or even silly looking. You are probably not thinking of words like, beautiful or majestic. Those are adjectives more likely linked to horses rather than donkeys.

Therefore, it may surprise you – well, it surprised me at least – that a donkey in ancient times and in the Bible was a symbol of kingship and peace. A donkey was a staple of ancient Near Eastern royal ceremonies. For example, if you read in the Bible’s Old Testament 1 Kings 1:33-44, you will find there that Solomon rode on his father David’s mule to Gihon to be anointed king. There’s a connection there between kingship and the donkey or mule. Other non-Israelite or non-biblical ancient texts of the time also spoke of kings riding on donkeys for ceremonial entries or parades into cities. Donkeys, in the ancient eastern world, were symbols of royalty.

Continue reading “Peace on a Donkey (Palm Sunday Sermon during COVID-19)”