Morning of Surprise
Read any of the accounts of the resurrection. Better yet, read them all. It was a morning of surprises - for everybody. (God loves to surprise us, doesn’t He?) Despite the fact that Jesus had affirmed again and again that He would die and be resurrected on the third day, no one seemed ready to believe it when it actually happened.
The soldiers guarding the tomb were surprised. First was the earthquake. Then the angel descended from heaven who came and rolled the stone from the tomb and sat upon it. It seems that these men watched all that the angel did. Being believers in gods and goddesses, etc., it’s no wonder they “shook for fear of him and became like dead men” (Matthew 28:4). They had seen the real thing!
The women who came to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body were completely surprised. They did not find His body, but they encountered the angel who invited them to see the place where Jesus’ body had lain. And he tells them that He is risen from the dead. This was all too much for them as they “went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them” (Mark 16:8).
Later in the day, Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18). What an honor that was. What a surprise! There He is in person, alive from the dead. Jesus has to tell her not to hold on to Him, but go tell the others. I’ve often wondered if she was not granted this privilege because her faith may have been the most genuine since Jesus had cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2).
Then we have the disciples - Peter, John, Thomas... They didn’t believe the women’s testimony. After Peter and John had been to the tomb, it was said that John believed, but Peter marveled. Thomas would not believe until He had personally seen the nail prints.
It was the greatest surprise. Despite His having affirmed it, they found it difficult to accept His resurrection. What about you? Is Jesus alive from the dead? If you believe that He is, it will change your entire life from the inside out. You should not be surprised!