I can understand why people were surprised when Jesus was born. I mean really…God, in a feeding trough? You can’t be serious! Who wouldn’t have been surprised?
But Easter is different. It’s different because, well, Jesus kept announcing what was going to happen! Consider this dialogue…
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” (Luke 18:31-33)
Seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? No surprise here. But catch the next verse:
“The disciples did not understand any of this…” (Luke 18:34)
It’s easy to snicker at the disciples. “Not the sharpest knives in the drawer,” and all that. But then I wonder if I’m much different. Oh, I believe the story…I could recite it to you. But it continues to surprise me. God, hanging on a tree? For me? It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t coincide with reality as I experience it every day. It’s not natural. It’s supernatural. Actually, it’s shocking. In the words of a song I like to sing, “Amazing love. How can it be that you, my God, should die for me?” How CAN it be? I don’t understand any of this.
The more I think about Easter, the more it surprises me. But I’m so glad the Easter surprise is true!