When you are checking into a hotel, the concierge typically asks: “Are you checking in, or checking out?”
Most of us have probably heard that term “check out” applied to other scenarios and situations, as well. In regard to relationships, if we “check out” that means that we have essentially given up on the situation, the cause, or the person. Essentially, when we “check out,” we are no longer present in whatever capacity we were before.
This is usually an unhealthy position to be in, because more often than not it indicates a desire to pack it in, give up and forego a possible solution to the problem.
When it came to Christ’s humble yet raucous entrance into Jerusalem on what we now observe as Palm Sunday, I am sure that most people assumed Christ was “checking in,” so to speak. There was a great sense of excitement in the air.
Finally, the people thought:
Christ is here, in the flesh, to help us, spend time with us and to teach us, heal us, feed us, and love us. Our time is now, our celebration can commence, and our true king will retake the throne that is rightly ours.
Unlike a hotel concierge, they certainly didn’t think he was checking in only to check out in a matter of days.
Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem signified a major transition in his life and ministry, both for him and his followers. And His followers didn’t expect what would happen just a few days later.
For the Jews, there was an expectation that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem to overthrow the present ruler and reclaim the throne for all of Jerusalem and God’s people. The disciples assumed this transition and triumphant entry into Jerusalem was one where Christ could continue His earthly ministry of healing the sick and lame, feeding the hungry, or tending to the poor and outcast.
Christ seemed to be the only one who knew what His true purpose was, and that, sadly it would end up with Him hanging from a cross. He didn’t “check out” in the sense of giving up, but it might have seemed to people as though he did.
For Christ, his disciples and the people of the world, it was one big transition after transition. They needed to be equipped to handle it, yet none of them seemed fully prepared.
With all of the transitions that take place in life, it’s essential that we be prepared to deal with them. How do we handle major and even minor changes in our lives? How do we handle adversity? How do we handle good times? And how do we handle a Savior who does something different than what we personally want or expect?
The answers to these questions require a relationship with God and the love and support of others.
We need to be aware that the decisions we make affect more than just ourselves. They can impact a city, a group of people, a Savior and family members. We are not on this journey alone.
We have to be ready for the unexpected. We have to be prepared for those transitions we and others will take in life.
The best way to go about preparing for those is both an awareness and an exposure to times of change. We need to be studious about praying to God and reading the Bible. We need to approach life with an open mind and heart and allow the winds of change to take their effect—whether we like it or not.
This is the only true way to know whether we are checking in to a life with God or checking out.