Hebrews 13:2 (KJV) “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Following is a possible “Eternal Reflection” of one who experienced Jesus Christ when He walked on earth.
The Jewish Passover Feast was quickly approaching. The throngs of Jewish pilgrims were entering the City of Jerusalem, and my inns were filling up. Just one week prior, there had been another Jewish uprising in the city. A Centurion had been killed, and his murderer had been arrested. But, that was not anything new when the Jewish Holy Days came around. That was one of the reasons I wasn’t interested in being a religious Jew – there didn’t seem to be much of God presented in the actions of the Jewish leaders. In fact, the only thing that they and I had in common was we enjoyed making money!
Nonetheless, I was still pondering my last conversation with Jesus wherein He said He would explain what Isaiah meant about the man who suffered. I didn’t know just how soon it would be that I would encounter Jesus again!
The first day of Passover Week, there was a commotion that took place at the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem. Since one of my inns was located near there, I could hear a crowd of people shouting, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” I called out to one of the people to inquire what was going on. He said, “Jesus of Nazareth is entering the Eastern Gate, and a lot of His followers have lined the street to welcome Him in the city!”
I didn’t have to leave my inn to see Jesus. I immediately ran up to my rooftop and waited until He passed by in the street below. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Jesus was riding on the back of my new colt, and the colt’s mother, my favorite donkey, was leading them between the people!
I couldn’t help but think, “This is so interesting! The first time I encountered Jesus, my donkey was leading the way for Him. Now, Jesus is riding my new colt, my favorite donkey is leading, and both donkey’s have the same white, star-shaped marking between their ears. This is NOT coincidental!” I would later find out that my sending my favorite donkey with her colt to Bethphage with my son was not coincidental also!
I started to call out to Jesus as He passed by, but I did not have to. Jesus looked up at me as He passed by. My eyes locked with His again, only this time there was an expression of deep love and sorrow in His eyes. I’m not sure, but I believe I saw tears in His eyes! That pierced my heart! Everyone lining the street was shouting praise to Him and laying palm branches in the street before Him! They were happy, but Jesus appeared sad. To be candid with you, He had the look in His eyes very similar to the look in the eyes of the sheep I’ve seen being brought in for the Jewish sacrifices.
I wanted so much to be able to speak with Jesus after seeing Him, but the opportunity did not present itself. Instead, one of His disciples named Judas came to the inn. He was returning my donkey and her colt. He told me Jesus said, “Thank you.”
Judas removed some coins from a bag he was carrying and asked me if there was any charge for allowing Jesus to use my donkeys. When I responded with, “NO charge,” I was a little surprised to see Judas did not replace the coins back into the bag. He placed them into a side pocket in his cloak.
I really didn’t expect anything for the use of my donkeys; but, being mindful of what Joseph told me when Jesus was born, I was surprised that Jesus would allow me to “out-give Him!” I didn’t want to entertain the thought that Jesus had instructed Judas to give me some payment, but he chose to steal it, but…
The next few days were so terribly busy! People wanted more personal service in my inn than ever before. It was as if the spirit of selfishness and greed had overtaken every corner of the city! Something prompted me to keep the upper room of my inn vacant. After the way most of the people were acting, I had no desire to place individuals who thought they were “royalty” into my best room. It was hard to imagine what inordinate demands they would make, and I wanted none of it!
I sent my servant out to fill a large water basin to replenish the inn with fresh water. When he returned, the two disciples that stepped between me and Jesus in Bethany were standing at my door. I discovered they were named Peter and John. They told me that Jesus was needing a large room to participate in the Passover Feast with His disciples. It was then that I understood why something had prompted me to keep my banquet room vacant!
That evening, Jesus came to my inn with twelve of His disciples. He greeted me warmly, thanked me for the use of the upper room, and thanked me for the use of my donkeys. He said, “Friend, you played an important part of helping Me fulfill My destiny! You will not go unrewarded!” With that, Jesus entered the upper room and I did not see Him again that evening.
The next day, it seemed that a spirit of darkness covered the whole city of Jerusalem! People were scurrying through the streets and crowds were heading toward the governmental section of the city. I chose to remain at my inn. I had no desire to a part of any of the Jewish drama!
About an hour before noon, I heard a loud chanting taking place. I rushed to my rooftop and listened intently. There was a loud cry going out that sounded like, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” I immediately thought, “They must be getting ready to execute the murderer of the Centurion.” I found out later, I was very wrong. They were crying out to crucify Jesus!
A very strange phenomenon took place about the sixth (Noon) hour. A strange, angry darkness covered the area until about the ninth (3:00 p.m.) hour. Suddenly, there was a shaking in the earth and it was reported that the Temple Veil was torn in two.
When the light of the day reappeared, it was accompanied with a deep quietness. The city streets became quieter and the restlessness of my boarders became more settled. I was disquieted, however.
Later that night, one of my boarders informed me that Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified with two other thieves. The murderer had been set free. I was never as sad as I was after receiving the news the Jesus, my Friend Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, the Baby of Bethlehem, and the 12-year-old scholar was dead!
I tried to console myself by visiting my favorite donkey and her colt. It was the first time that I’d ever seen her lying down! She acted like she was grieving. She acted like she knew that Jesus was dead! Even her colt couldn’t get her to raise up. I just sat down beside her and stroked her head. I had never seen a donkey cry until that night. We both cried together!
I had business to attend to. The first day of the week arrived and my boarders were checking out. As far as I was concerned, it was not soon enough! There was a cheerful, hopeful feeling in the air that morning. At the time, I didn’t understand why. I just thought I had cried all the tears I could, and it was time to “move on!”
I went down to the stable to check on my donkeys. They were both standing, and my favorite donkey was stomping her right hoof and shaking her head up and down! Suddenly, there He was! Jesus appeared in the stable! He was alive! I felt like stomping my feet and shaking my head as well!!
I said, “Jesus, You are alive! They said you were dead!” I’ll always remember His response! He said, “It is impossible to destroy the Word of God! Do you remember I promised I would explain what Isaiah meant?”
I answered, “Yes, Jesus, You did!”
He stepped closer to me and extended His hands. I looked at the nail print in each hand. He raised his robe so that I could see His feet. I looked at the nail print in each foot. He pulled his robe aside to show me His side. I looked at where they pierced His side. He showed me His back. I saw the stripes on His back.
Jesus said, “Isaiah was speaking of Me!”