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The Road to the Via Dolorosa (Mark 11:1-11)

Wakefield tells the story of the famous inventor Samuel Morse who was once asked if he ever encountered situations where he didn’t know what to do. Morse responded, “More than once, and whenever I could not see my way clearly, I knelt down and prayed to God for light and understanding.”

Morse received many honors from his invention of the telegraph but felt undeserving: “I have made a valuable application of electricity not because I was superior to other men but solely because God, who meant it for mankind, must reveal it to someone and He was pleased to reveal it to me.”

The Passion Week of Christ included the following: didactic lessons taught by Christ in the temple, the upper room discourse with His disciples, the betrayal of Judas, His Roman trials, Jewish trials, scourging and the crucifixion. Christ gave explicit instructions about finding a colt that never had been ridden upon.  When the Lord gives us punctilious instructions they must be carried out to the fullest.  The gospel of Mark’s readers (Romans) knew about the Roman Triumphal.  “This was the official welcoming parade given to a victorious Roman general whose armies killed at least 5,000 enemy soldiers, gained new territory for Rome, and brought home rich trophies and important prisoners. The general rode in a golden chariot, surrounded by his officers; and in the parade, he displayed his treasures and prisoners.” (Warren Wierbse)  Conversely, Christ came in riding on colt fulfilling the (Zechariah 9:9).  Christ triumphal entry was in stark contrast to the Roman Triumphal.  Christ was ushering in spiritual revolution whereas the Roman Triumphal was carnal. The spreading of the garments showing humbleness to Christ. The colt exemplified the humility of Christ.  The branches were a symbol of praising Jesus as He prepared for the road to the Via Dolorosa (the of way sorrow).  Our wills need to broken in order for us to fulfill God’s plenary will in our lives.

In conclusion, a truly humble man is hard to find, yet God delights to honor such selfless people. Booker T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding example of this truth. Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. A little girl recognized him and later revealed his identity to the lady.

The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his office at the Institute and apologized profusely. “It’s perfectly all right, Madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.” She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.

Courtesy of H. G. Bosch

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