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Untie the colt.

Jesus tells us this donkey is for us to take – is it? Really?

Untie the colt.

Is this donkey good enough, is it strong enough, is it appropriate?

Untie the colt.

We leave too much tied up – it’s time to let it free for Jesus to use.

Jesus is coming into Jerusalem as a hero. A celebrity, a favorite teacher, but one whom the people in power dislike because he’s too much of an upstart. They yell and scream and riot, but they’re just looking for excitement. He’s not actually teaching them anything new – nothing they’ll remember. They’re in it for the fun. They need to go get jobs, what are they doing out yelling in the streets?

This is what Jesus untied the colt for.

For false praise, for people eager to show their hypocrisy, for people who want change as long as someone else has to do it. For the chance to create chaos, interrupt a holy time with his own private agenda. Why Passover week? He’s just doing it now to get more attention.

Jesus unties the colt because this colt is imperfect. It doesn’t walk in a straight line, it struggles under the weight of him, it moves slow, it looks ragged and unkempt and ugly. It’s a colt only its mother could love.

Untie the colt.

To untie the colt is to take a risk on something that won’t pay out. To do something different, something wrong. To accept the challenge of others who say, “This won’t work” and “You shouldn’t be doing that” and “It’ll all end in tears.” But the result isn’t what matters, not really. What matters is the command, and the one who gives it.

Untie the colt.

The act of untying a knot becomes worship. Something done quickly, hoping no one will notice, becomes an event memorialized for millennia across the world. The disciples, who earlier wouldn’t let children come to him, who could never understand what Jesus was teaching, who seemed to only be in it for themselves, were willing to follow without looking back, trusting, beyond the stupidity of the command, that the one who gave it had a good reason.

Untie the colt.

And so, this year, as every year, we untie the colt. We set Jesus on the path towards Jerusalem, towards infamy, towards destiny, towards destruction, towards death. We only go with him until the going gets tough.

Still, untie the colt.

Untie the colt because Jesus is trustworthy. Because even if we don’t understand, even if we do it for the wrong reasons, even if we’re hypocrites as we do it, Jesus can redeem it. Untie the colt because Jesus has a plan. Untie the colt because it’s what Jesus told us to do. Untie the colt because there’s no other way to be faithful to who we are. Untie the colt because we have to watch the story play out, because we hope for the story to turn out for the better, because we’re waiting on the edge of our seats to see what Jesus is going to do with this ugly, dirty, weak, unruly colt that can barely hold him. Untie the colt because even after Jesus is done with it, it’s still loved, still a creature made by a loving creator, still part of God’s plan – it will get tied back up later, return to its routine. But for now, the Lord needs it. So untie the colt.

Untie the colt. Jesus tells us this donkey is for us to take – is it? Really? Untie the colt. Is this donkey good enough, is it strong enough, is it appropriate? Untie the colt. We leave too much tied up – it’s time to let it free for Jesus to use. Jesus is coming into Jerusalem as a hero. A celebrity, a favorite teacher, but one whom the people in power dislike because he’s too much of an upstart. They yell and scream and riot, but they’re just looking for excitement. He’s not actually teaching them anything new –...
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