This is a word that brings some unknowns to the table. I’ve been surprised a party before. I’ve been surprised by someone jumping out of a dark corner of the room to scare me. Surprise is not always a good thing. I like things to be somewhat predictable and normal as opposed to unpredictable and abnormal. I don’t mind surprises if I know about it ahead of time. I can then act surprised! It really not the same, but surprised that brings fear is not cool with me.
Jesus surprised the women who were on their way to anoint His dead body with spices. They had to wait until the Sabbath was over in order to take care of this pretty normal task. Check this out…2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:2-8 NIV)
To say that these women were surprised was a pretty big understatement. I imagine that I would have been stunned and afraid. After all the religious leaders had just completed a plot that included murdering Jesus, this amazing teacher and friend. Now His body had disappeared. They were told the truth, but I’m sure it seemed surreal. I would have loved to hear their conversation after they left the tomb. Surprise has an initial shock factor to it and then the truth settles in.
I would be wise to filter all my surprises through the lens of the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment. The surprise of Jesus rising from dead was a HUGE GAME CHANGER for these women who loved Him as well as His disciples. It changes things for me too – I now don’t have to fear death because Jesus defeated death. Jesus resurrection is no longer a surprise to me. I continued to be surprised by His Power, His Presence and His Amazing Grace!Pressing On! Dwayne