In the mornings, after breakfast, the kids and I sit down together for our group read-aloud time. We begin with the Bible, then move into our catechisms. We spend about an hour reading before we begin our core subjects. We are currently reading about heroes of the Reformation, and we read an article from Voice of the Martyrs magazine. And we are reading two biographies, as well. We read just a little from each book, and have gradually increased the number of books that we read from.
We recently started a new book, for Easter. It is called Journey to the Cross, by Helen Haidle. It is basically a retelling of the text of the Bible concerning everything leading up to and after the crucifixion of Jesus. Each chapter ends with a few comprehension questions and a scripture verse to memorize. But what I really like about this book is that each chapter begins and ends with an explanation of a Jewish custom or tradition of Jesus's day, or as in today's reading, an explanation of something that Jesus did.
We all know that Jesus asked his disciples to go into the next village and to bring back to Him a donkey's colt that they would find inside the city gates. We all know that the disciples did just as Jesus asked them to, and that Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem. We all know that Jesus did not come to conquer the Roman army and set the Jewish people free from their rule.
But what I did not know (you may have known this all along) is that Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem was supposed to present a picture to the people of the fact that He did not come to conquer Rome. In Jesus's day, a donkey was known as an animal of peace. Men did not ride donkeys into battle; they chose fast horses for that. So by riding a donkey into Jerusalem, Jesus was showing that He did not come to lead a battle against the Roman army. Instead, He came to make peace between God and man.
As many times as I have read this account in the Scriptures, I did not get that. Obviously I'm in good company, though, because apparently Jesus's disciples and early followers didn't get that message either. Throughout the Bible, Jesus was constantly teaching people through word pictures. I'm glad that He still does that, even today!
The Lamb, who was put to death, is worthy!...He is worthy to receive honor and glory and praise! -- Rev.5:12