Hello, my name’s Dave, the donkey. You won’t know me … not many people do. You might know my Grandpa, Darrell. He’s the one who went all the way from Nazareth – that’s a long, long, long way away – and carried a young woman – who was very pregnant – all the way to Bethlehem. Her name was Mary, and she was carrying a very special baby, Jesus, who was God’s baby. She had been chosen by God to be the mother of the newborn King and saviour of the world. My grandpa, Darrell, was so honoured to bear such a special burden.
Anyway, I’m here to tell you about something incredible that happened to me! I was in Bethany – that’s near Jerusalem, in case you don’t know – I was minding my own business eating grass, thinking very important donkey thoughts, and that sort of thing, when two complete strangers came up to me and untied me. My owners came out and asked them what these two were doing – I’m not surprised really, it’s not every day that you get taken away – they could have been donkey-napping me! The two men said something very strange, “The Lord needs it.” But that seemed be ok for my owners, who let them go. Someone important needed me – that was good enough. It’s not every day that happens! But who was it? Who was so important, and why did he need me?
And then I met him. At first he didn’t look very important. He was dressed normally, but when I looked at him, he looked very kind, but a little sad too. There was something different about him. Something very special.
The men threw their coats on me, and then they put this man on my back. He rode me towards the great city of Jerusalem, and as we were walking along, people put coats on the road before us. There were lots of people – they all looked so excited and happy. They waved palm branches, shouted and cheered. They told each other stories of the wonderful things this man had done – he had healed the sick and done some amazing things. The people shouted out, “‘Welcome! God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord.’ Peace in heaven and glory to God!”
I was amazed, the man on my back was a king? He was a king, coming into the city, and being welcomed by the people of the city. He didn’t seem like a king, at least not the kind of king we were used to. He seemed so full of love, he seemed to really care for the people, and the people loved him. This king was called Jesus, and I carried him into Jerusalem. Me – Dave the donkey – it was the proudest moment of my life.
I said that the people loved him and welcomed him; well, some didn’t love him – they looked very angry at what was happening, and were whispering to each other. Not everyone was welcoming this king. In fact, I heard something awful. A few days later they had Jesus arrested and killed, even though he’d done nothing wrong. I couldn’t believe it.
But then a rumour went round – he’d risen from the dead. That’s amazing. My owners told me that he said this would happen, that it had to happen. It’s been an amazing few days. I won’t ever forget them, or the king I carried.
Summary to say afterwards …
Dave knew he carried someone special, he knew he carried a king, but he didn’t know just how special Jesus was. When they put Jesus on the cross on Good Friday, it hurt. The people who did it were punishing Him for things that He never did, for Jesus never did anything wrong. Because God loved us and wanted to be friends with us, He took every one of our sins – you know, the things we do wrong – out of our hearts and put them into Jesus. Jesus felt all the sadness and loneliness that sin brings. Then Jesus died. But God brought Him back to life on Easter morning. And now we can be friends with God and enjoy life forever with him. That is why we celebrate Easter.