Clues to the Big Surprise


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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

AN EAGER YOUNG PREACHER was assigned to his first church. The old folks who had attended this little church all their lives had seen dozens of ministers come and go, but this young preacher was determined to make a good impression.

He decided to preach his inaugural sermon on the second coming of Christ, knowing that it was a popular subject with most church folk. As he stood to speak, he slammed his fist on the pulpit and shouted the words of Christ from Revelation 22:7, “Behold, I come quickly!” (KN).

Well, the sleepy congregation barely twitched. But the young minister wouldn’t be discouraged. He stepped back from the pulpit. He cleared his throat. And then he sprang to the pulpit and shouted even louder, “Behold, I come quickly!” Result? Not an eyebrow of interest from the congregation.

The preacher wasn’t about to let the stone-faced congregation beat him. This time he backed up to the rear of the platform and huffed deeply. Then he raced to the pulpit screaming, “Behold, I come quickly!” He crashed into the pulpit, tipping it off the platform and onto the flower arrangement. The preacher tumbled over the fallen pulpit and landed in the lap of a little old lady.

He jumped up, red-faced with embarrassment. “Dear ma’am, I am so very sorry. Please forgive me.”

“No need to apologize, Reverend,” the old lady replied. “After all, you warned me three times that you were a-comin’.”

A surprise isn’t much of a surprise if somebody tells you about it ahead of time. But sometimes a surprise is too good to keep. Remember what it was like to be a tiny tyke at Christmastime? Your dad probably helped you pick out and wrap a simple gift for your mom. But you were too bubbly to keep from babbling: “Look, Mommy, I bought you a Power Rangers pot holder!”

God has a hard time keeping a secret too. Picture him in heaven planning to send Christ to earth to die for you and then rise from the dead. He oozed excitement about his plan and the new life you would receive through it. So centuries before Jesus was born, God burst. He just had to start talking about his surprise. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies about Christ, such as his birthplace (see Micah 5:2), his suffering and death (see Isaiah 53), and his resurrection (see Job 19:25). God had good news for you that wouldn’t keep!

REFLECT: Don’t you feel jazzed about a God who was so eager to share Christ with you that he couldn’t keep silent?

PRAY: Express some of your excitement in a prayer of thankfulness.


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