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A discovery was made in 1857 when a building was excavated on the Palatine Hill in Rome.

What they found was some graffiti dated from around the year 200 scratched on the plaster of a wall which depicted a young man looking at a human like figure affixed upon a cross and possessing the head of a donkey.

The inscription read “Alexamenus worships his God”

This is one of the earliest known pictorial representations of the crucifixion of Jesus and it wasn’t meant to be flattering. It is a crude image of a youth, Alexamenus, who was ass enough to worship a crucified God!

Today is Palm Sunday, when Christians mark the events that took place in Jerusalem in the run up to the death and resurrection of our Lord, and what a peculiar spectacle it was too! In those days it wasn’t at all unusual for a triumphant king to make a dramatic entrance into a conquered city, riding on the back of an impressive steed.

But never before had anyone ridden in on the back of a donkey!

What Jesus did was of course a direct fulfilment of the prophecy found in the Old Testament book of Zechariah chapter 9:

“Rejoice greatly O people of Zion!
Look, your king is coming to you.
Righteous and victorious, yet lowly and riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey”.

Today, Palm Sunday is a reminder that the God Christian people worship is one humble enough to ride on the back of a donkey and loving enough to die in our place. To some, that may seem asinine, yet for those who have come to experience forgiveness through Christ’s death on the cross, it is the power of God for salvation.

– Rev Dr Frank Sellar