A little more than two thousand years ago a very surprising event took place. After a full week of surprising events for all the people living in Jerusalem; The surprise of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; The surprising betrayal by one of the inner-circle disciples; The surprising trials before the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman Governor and the surprising side-bars at the Crucifixion, it seemed to many that what had taken place between both sides of the controversy over the man named Jesus was finally over.
Some folks had reason to be surprised. The general public thought that the One who had come to be the Conquering King, bringing release from Roman domination. Instead He was the Suffering Servant. One of the men crucified with Jesus surprisingly realized that the one crucified next to him was in fact the Son of God and secured his place in Paradise following his death. The Sanhedrin, when they insisted that Governor Pilate change the wording of the charge placed against Jesus from “King of the Jews” to “He claimed to be King of the Jews”, were quite surprised to hear Pilate say: “What I have written, I have written.” Pilate was surprised when Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, two prominent members of the Sanhedrin, came requesting the body of Jesus for a proper burial. He was also surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. The crowd was surprised to hear the Roman Centurion publicly declare: “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
That evening some of the women watched as Joseph rolled the stone closing the tomb. His disciples and the women went to their homes surprised, confused and frightened. But the surprises were not over yet!
Very early Sunday morning the women went to the tomb. Then the Sunday Surprises began. The stone was rolled away from the tomb; they went inside but did not find Jesus’ body. Then two angels appeared saying, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Just as He said”. Suddenly Jesus appeared to them, alive! Surprise!!
Later two of the disciples were walking to Emmaus. Suddenly Jesus began walking with them, asking them what they were discussing. They did their best to explain, not knowing it was Jesus. Arriving at home they invited Jesus to stay for dinner. When He took bread and blessed it, broke it and gave it to them, ‘Their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.” Surprise!!
They ran back and told the others about their surprise visit. “It’s true! The Lord has risen and appeared to Simon and to us.” As if there had not been enough surprises already, Jesus himself stood among them. o!! And for the next forty days was seen by over 500 people before he was surprisingly taken back to heaven in a cloud.
My wife, Claudia, and I trust that this Resurrection Day will not be a surprise to you but a reality!
Rev. Keyser is Pastoral Director of The Quiet Place 305 931 4823