If he had ridden in on a horse, like some conquering king, he never would have been crucified. But he rode in on a donkey, a sign of peace. And it was a donkey that had never been ridden, which was fitting because the kind of peace Jesus brought had never been offered before. It was a peace between God and man at the cost of God’s dignity.
The Life—Creator of all things (John 1:3)—offered himself to go through the violence of birth and the harsh sentence of living, only to die. Life itself suffered death, so that we could live again; fall into our Father’s waiting arms. As has been said, love held Jesus on that cross.
So, the day he rode in utter peace into Jerusalem, they worshipped this man as some type of warrior they believed would deliver them from the unjust rule of the Romans. They misunderstood. He didn’t come to ride through the streets as a warrior leader. He came to stumble toward the cross, bloodied and beaten, shamed and cursed, even for those who hung him there.
Understanding of the depth of that kind of love is elusive. We can’t muster it up or put it on like a backpack. But that supernatural drunkenness (Eph. 5:18) (and, it seems that one would have to be out of their mind plastered to love so indiscriminately) is ours through God’s Spirit. Because he walked the way of the cross, we are free to walk in his love. Because he is our life, we can freely throw our idols in the trash. The impossible love of Jesus broke down the door between God and man. In weakness, in death, incarnating the flesh of that which he created with his own hands, God made a way home for his children.