When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, large crowds ‘went out to meet him’ (John 12:13). The scene translated into modern culture would be a ticker tape parade. Jesus is the victorious saviour who brings peace, and the people celebrate his arrival. On that first Palm Sunday, most didn’t persevere in their faith of Jesus, and a few didn’t even celebrate that day. The Pharisees thought all this celebration about Jesus was terrible (John 12:19).
Today, there are still these groups of people. Some people gladly receive Jesus. They go out to meet him. They listen to his voice as they regularly read the Bible. They love to go out to him and meet with other Christians. They love Jesus and they love his voice. Others do not go out to Jesus. They are not interested hearing his Word, they are not interested in knowing his people. For them going out to meet Jesus in prayer, listening to what he says and meeting with his people around him sounds crazy.
A day is coming when Jesus will return, not as saviour but as judge. Some will be ready and go out to him then as they do now. They will greet him and he will greet them. He will say ‘well done good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21). But there will be others who have not gone out to Jesus in life, and they will hide from him when he returns. He will say 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matthew 25:41). In his kindness, he has told us what will happen ahead of time, so that we can have our hearts ready and greet him when he comes.