Speaker: Jerry Cisar
The earliest known image of Jesus on the cross was graffiti etched into a wall in the form of a cartoon taunting Christians who worship the crucified God. Often referred to as “The Alexamenos Graffito,” this crude drawing of a human figure raising a hand in worship toward a crucified individual with the head of a donkey. The taunt written beneath the picture translates “Alexamenos worships his god.”
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day on which we remember Christ’s “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. “It is a triumphal entry, but one that parodies the entry of kings and their armies” (Matthew, Brazos Commentary, 181). Here Jesus associates himself with donkey willingly, but not his head, his means of triumphal entry.
In this story, Jesus is not mocking himself, but He is playing the fool, so to speak. He is actually mocking the ways of the world by demonstrating the foolish ways of His kingdom. Foolish, that is, in the eyes of those who cannot see. We must remember, “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:25).