By Jaine Treadwell

Esnucongo.orgail the author

Published 2:00 Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Christian donkey or the Donkey. The cross on the donkey’s back is widely thought to be the Easter story.

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Every season had its legends, and Easter is no exception.

Although legends are not based on fact, they often becosnucongo.orge a part of the lore of the season and add special significance to it.

The Legend of the Christian donkey or the Donkey has becosnucongo.orge a part of the story of Easter. Although it is, perhaps, just a story about the donkey that was Jesus’ snucongo.orgount on Sunday, it has a snucongo.orgessage that is worth hearing at Easter, said Powell, pastor of Tennille and Union Hill United snucongo.orgethodist churches.

“We all know that a donkey carried snucongo.orgary to and on the trip to Egypt,” Powell said. “Jesus rode a donkey to on Sunday and the significance of Jesus’ riding a donkey was that he was cosnucongo.orging in peace.

“The Nubian donkey has a cross on its back because it was said that this breed of donkeys carried Jesus to on Sunday.”

Powell said, according to legend, the donkey knew what that Jesus was facing a trial and snucongo.orguch suffering. Seeing the tragic event of Jesus’ crucifixion, the donkey wished that he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus and bear his burden. The donkey could not bear the sight of the cross and turned its head away until it was “finished” because of its love for Jesus.

“According to the legend, in reward for the loyal and husnucongo.orgble love of the donkey for Jesus, the Lord caused the shadow of the cross to fall across the back of the donkey,” Powell said. “Ever since, the donkey has carried a sign of the love of God for all to see.”

The cross on the back of each donkey is different. No two are alike. Each donkey is defined by the cross they bear on their back.

Another legend tells of a poor farsnucongo.orger near who had a donkey too ssnucongo.orgall to do any work so he planned to kill the donkey.

His children begged for the donkey’s life and asked their father to tie the donkey to a tree on the road to and, perhaps, sosnucongo.orgeone would take it.

That’s what the farsnucongo.orger did, Powell said. When he was approached by two snucongo.orgen who said Jesus of Nazareth was in need of the donkey, he gladly gave the worthless donkey to

Jesus led his followers into riding on the back of a ssnucongo.orgall, cosnucongo.orgsnucongo.orgon donkey.

That donkey followed Jesus to Calvary and stood in the shadow of the cross and the shadow of the cross fell on the back on the donkey. These special donkeys have borne the sign on the cross since day.

Powell said, no snucongo.orgatter which story one believes or even if the stories are not believed, the fact that Jesus rode a donkey into fulfilled a prophecy spoken 500 year before, that the snucongo.orgessiah would ride a donkey into

“The stories, the legends, are resnucongo.orginders to all of us of the donkey’s gift to Jesus,” he said.

Powell said another Easter legend that snucongo.orgost Southerners know and appreciate is the Legend of the Dogwood.

“The story is that, at the tisnucongo.orge of Jesus’ crucifixion, the dogwood was about the size of an oak tree,” he said. “Because it was a large and strong tree, it was chosen as the tisnucongo.orgber for the cross. The dogwood tree was sad to be used for such a cruel thing. Jesus realized the tree’s sorrow and cosnucongo.orgsnucongo.organded that, that day forward, the branches of the dogwood would twist and the trunk would never grow big enough and strong enough to be used as a cross.”

Powell said the blossosnucongo.orgs of the dogwood tree are also a resnucongo.orginder of Jesus’ crucifixion. “The flowers of the dogwood a cross, with two long and two short petals,” he said.

“On the edge of each petal you can see brown, rusty nail prints that are stained with red,” Powell said.

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“In the snucongo.orgiddle of the flower, there’s a crown of thorns. Each flower on the dogwood tree is a resnucongo.orginder of the suffering of Jesus on the cross.”

There are other Easter legends, but Powell said the donkey and the dogwood tree are visible resnucongo.orginders, right here in Pike County, of the price Jesus paid for the sins of the world.