Of Mules and Men

I don’t know when it happened.  I honestly can’t tell you.  Somewhere, somehow —  I fell in love with donkeys.  Now, I’ve always loved the horse, but I have a fascination with the donkey.  It must be his long bunny rabbit like ears, or perhaps,  his stubborn demeanor that intrigue me.

They say the donkey has been around for 5,000 years.  For centuries he has been used as a pack animal especially in times of draught, in addition to guarding herds of sheep and goats from predators.    There are still around 40 million donkeys in the world.     It so happens, that unlike the horse, who tends to be a herd animal, the donkey is more a loner and less fearful.  The experts say that donkey’s are more intelligent, more disease resistant, draught tolerant, gentle and even live longer than horses.

 In the Bible, the donkey is a symbol for peace, the horse a symbol of war.  I’ve always thought how appropriate then, that Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey;  the King of King’s coming to make peace with man, not war.  “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).

Photo: Axel Kehlmann

Jesus came to make peace with man by offering himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Because the first man and woman disobeyed God and rebelled against Him;  all of humanity fell into sin.  We are born sinners.  We are born hostile to God.  “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so,” (Romans 8:7).  “When Eve was taken in by Satan’s seductive reasoning and Adam then rebelled with her, God did not force Himself on them. He allowed them to live without the benefit of His revealed knowledge.  Adam quickly blamed his wife, and his wife blamed the serpent. Man has been blaming everyone else for his troubles ever since,” (Beyond Today, Mans Natural Hostility Toward God).

As descendants of the first man and woman we too have a sin nature that we are born with.  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” (Romans 5:12).  In 1 John 1:10 it says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Photo: Christina Dawson

God Almighty loved his creation so much that he was willing to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin debt;  He did this so that we could have eternal life and be reconciled to Him.  You might ask…..”Why”. “Why would he have to do that?”  “It sounds kind of gruesome, right?”  “Why didn’t God just say, ‘O.K, everybody, I forgive you?'”  Well, the key point is that God is Holy.  Because He is Holy, there had to be a penalty for our wrong-doing.

I’ve heard it explained something like this:  If someone murdered your mother or father, or committed some other heinous crime against you, and they caught the fellow and he went before a court judge;  If the judge was a “good judge”, he would have to make the fellow pay the penalty (perhaps sending him to death row for execution);   However, if the judge was a “bad judge,” he might take a bribe from the defendant and let the guy go;  How would you feel?  Injustice…… would be injustice if the judge just let him go free without paying the penalty for his sin, for murder.

So God, being a good judge, had to ensure the penalty for your sin and my sin was paid in full.  Instead of sending us to death row, to destruction, He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place, to be buried and to rise on the third day.    Sin —  is that grievous to God.  The penalty had to be paid.  God paid it for you, so that when you receive Christ in your heart, you can be forgiven of our your sins.

Photo: George Hodan

The slate can be erased so-to-speak.  A new beginning is available when you receive the free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus.  Have you taken that first step toward being reconciled to God?  God loves you.  His desire is for all men to come to him and be saved.  Receiving Christ as Lord and Savior doesn’t mean your life will be magically without trouble.  Trouble comes to all men.  But it does mean that God will send the Holy Spirit to be with you to overcome your trials.

Jesus proclaims, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).  The Lord Jesus came as a mediator to make peace with mankind.  “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5).  Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey;  a symbol of peace.

Photo: Christina Dawson

Will you receive His peace today?

References:  Wikipedia,, Fifteen years of research on donkeys finds many worthy attributes