From a Lowly Donkey to a Majestic White Warhorse
Dr. Bob Abramson
Many years ago in America, we had black and white movies about the old American western cowboys. The hero was often depicted as a man dressed in white, riding a powerful white horse. A faithful friend, who was usually depicted as someone who was a simple and somewhat clown-like person, accompanied him. This person did not ride a beautiful white horse, like the hero did, but usually rode on a humble mule or donkey. What a contrast between the hero and the simple “sidekick.” Both were good men. One was esteemed highly; and, the other, though a man with a good heart, was often ridiculed. One had the appearance of strength and power. The other appeared to be weak and powerless.
As I think about these two very different old western movie actors, riding on their four-legged animals, I am drawn to a simple comparison of the two very different animals that the Bible says that Jesus rides upon. The first was a lowly donkey’s colt. It is found in Matthew 21:1-11. Matthew described Jesus entering Jerusalem on this donkey’s colt to fulfill His destiny at the cross. At first, the crowds shouted “Hosanna.” However, this did not last for very long. Soon, they were shouting, “Crucify Him!” Then, He who knew no sin became sin for us. Jesus was betrayed, arrested, mocked, beaten and humiliated. Finally, He was nailed to a rugged old cross and died an agonizing death. This cross was the destination of a journey He began three and a half years earlier. You might even say that He started this journey long before he rode into Jerusalem. It actually began in the divine counsels of eternity past. His ride on this lowly young donkey into Jerusalem was a story of betrayal, humiliation, blasphemy and most importantly, of the Lord’s supreme selfless sacrifice. What is so amazing and beyond our full understanding is that Jesus, who was, and is Almighty God Most High, picked that lowly donkey to carry Him into Jerusalem on the way to this greatest act of redemptive passion. Could there ever be a greater act of love? Could there ever be a greater hero? Let me remind you that the story does not end there. It was only the beginning. There is another ride to tell about.
The Lord’s second ride is found in Revelation 19:11-14. It tells us that when Jesus comes again it will not be on a lowly donkey. It will be on a pure white, magnificent warhorse, from which He will lead countless other white warhorses. This second ride will be quite the opposite of the first one. Revelations 19:11 (NKJV) says that He will be called, “Faithful and True” and “in righteousness He makes war!” On His second ride, Jesus will not go to where He will have His name written on a cross of death, hanging above His beaten and bloody body. No! This time, His name will be written on His royal robe and on His thigh. It will read, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to His majestic, royal name. The wonderful thing about this glorious ride, in which Christ triumphs completely and finally over evil, is that we will be riding with Him on our own white warhorses. We will be clothed in white linen, representing “the righteous acts of the saints.” (Revelation 19:6-9 and 19:14) Now, having read this, the questions for you become: (1) Will you maintain your confession of Him as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS?” (2) Will you be riding with Him on a white horse in victory?
My prayer is that you make it your confession to declare that He is, and always will be your King and Lord. Let there be no doubt within your heart that you will follow Him now and forever. Because you purpose in your heart, as Daniel did, that you will “not defile yourself” with compromise or unbelief (Daniel 1:8), you may be sure that He will keep you close to Him through all that this life brings you. Then, one day, He will open the door for you to an eternity without pain, sorrow or tears. Now, what I have written about seem simple enough. To choose otherwise would be complete foolishness; and lead to a tragic end beyond imagination, for who can describe the fullness of God’s judgment. Follow Him now, so you can follow Him in that Day when He returns in glory. In that Day, you will ride with Him on your own regal white warhorse, as He comes, filled with majesty and glory. (Yes, He will come on His awesome, pure white, incredibly terrible and righteous warhorse.)
I could have ended this article here. However, there is a third four-legged animal, another donkey, I would invite you to consider. You can read about it in Genesis 22:1-9. Then, think about Abraham, as he prepared to lead his son, Isaac, up the mountain. God had instructed Abraham to take Isaac there to slay him as a sacrifice on an altar. This seemed to fly in the face of God’s promise that Isaac would be the beginning a great nation of Abraham’s descendents. Wouldn’t you think Abraham would have surely have been tempted not to climb that mountain? Abraham resisted any such temptation. He drew upon his faith and obediently began the climb. Here is what he said to the servants who had accompanied him: “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5 NKJV)
Imagine how difficult going up that mountain must have been. It could have been a story of sorrow, but Abraham’s willingness to trust God, in the most difficult of circumstances, illustrates how the determination to serve God can overcome what appears to be a looming disaster, and lead to great joy. When Abraham told his servants to “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you,” his words revealed two things. First, they show us his great faith in God. Second, they give us a clear picture that obedience can be an act of worship to the Lord, especially when it seems difficult to obey His commands.
So, we have seen the stories of three four-legged beasts. Two donkeys took their riders toward mountains of sacrifice. One mountain was called “The-Lord-Will-Provide” (Genesis 22:14). The other was called “Calvary.” Both became places of great victories for the Lord. Upon each of them, the will of God was accomplished. Two of the four-legged beasts were lowly donkeys, but the third will be a mighty warhorse. It will carry “Mighty Warrior,” the divine “KING OF KINGS” to the ultimate battle and final victory over sin and death.
I want to encourage you to go and do the will of God. There will be no need to question what He asks of you or consider what it may require. Just believe God, behave accordingly and trust Him for your victories. For, they shall surely come.
© Robert Abramson 2013
(Permission is granted to reproduce this article.)