Just think about the surprises surrounding the last week of the life of Christ.
First, we must all admit that it had been a terrifying week for the followers of Jesus.
When he entered Jerusalem with great fanfare and proclamation, his followers all expected that this was it - Jesus was finally going to reveal himself as the King of Kings - the Messiah. They were all ready to begin the revolution against the oppression of Rome. But Jesus wasn't here for that reason. Surprise ... How disappointed they must have been.
Soon the followers of Jesus became frustrated and angry and begin to lose patience with their master. After all, what kind of King was this? The crowds started to turn against him, and even his closest followers were grumbling -- one was even making plans to turn him over to the Jewish authorities.
Jesus, they thought, just didn't understand how a Messiah should act -- what was expected of him. He was becoming a disappointing surprise.
But the surprises didn't stop there. Soon they would meet to share one last Passover meal together. And what does Jesus do? He washes their feet -- a job usually reserved for slaves and servants.
Wait a minute ... What kind of King -- what kind of Messiah -- washes feet?
That bread -- it's not just bread. It's the body of Christ -- broken for the world. Surprise! And that wine -- it's not just wine. It's the blood of Christ shed for the sins of all mankind. Surprise!
They were confused. This is not what was expected. Surprise!
After dinner they went out to the garden and Judas showed up with soldiers who were there to arrest Jesus. Peter was so excited that the revolution was about to begin that he drew his sword and attacked. Jesus immediately rebuked him and told him to put away his sword. Surprise!
The arrest. The trial. The beatings. The crucifixion. Was this what they had expected? Absolutely not!
After the Feast of Passover came to an end a couple of the women who had been followers of Jesus came to the tomb to prepare his body for burial. But his body was no longer there. They hurried back to the place where the disciples were hiding out and told them the news. Peter and John ran out to the tomb to see for themselves and, sure enough, he was gone.
Surprise? Absolutely. But it shouldn't have been.
Just as the angel had reminded the women.
"He is not here, he is risen ... JUST AS HIS SAID!"
Surprise! Christ is Risen!