Best Surprise Ever 3: Surprising Power

SurprisingPower

This is Part Three of a seven-part series of family devotions leading up to Easter.  Click here to subscribe to the series.  You can catch up with Part One and Part Two here.

Verse to Remember: So God lifted him up to the highest place.  God gave him the name that is above every name. – Phil 2:9 (NIrV)

Big Idea:  Jesus is all-powerful and always in control.  

What if you had a secret identity that no one else knew about?  Like maybe you were a ninja or a superhero or secret agent, but you just went to school and hung out with regular kids and nobody knew the truth.

Then imagine if a kid started picking on you or even started a fight.  Boy, would they be in for a big surprise!  They would have no idea who they were messing with until it was too late.  

The same thing happened to the group of Roman soldiers sent to arrest Jesus.  They had no idea who they were messing with.  They thought they were just going out to arrest some teacher their bosses didn’t like, but when they arrived in the garden, they found someone very different.  

Jesus knew the soldiers were coming. It was all part of God’s plan to save the world. When Jesus saw them approaching the garden, he didn’t run or hide.  He went out to meet them.  

Here’s what the Bible says happened next:

“‘Who are you looking for?’ he asked.

‘Jesus the Nazarene,’ they replied.

‘I am he,’ Jesus said . . . As Jesus said ‘I am he,’ they all drew back and fell to the

ground” (John 18:4-5, NLT).

Why did a group of big, tough soldiers fall to the ground?  Because of Jesus’ power.  Jesus spoke with such strength and authority, these battle-hardened warriors collapsed like a bunch of wet noodles.  They knew they were in the presence of someone awesome.

Yet, Jesus let them arrest him anyway.  At any moment he could break free or call down an army of angels to take these guys down, but he didn’t.  He chose to follow God’s plan to save the world.

Jesus’ friends, however, got scared and ran away.  They forgot that Jesus is all-powerful and that he is still in control even when bad things happen.

Sometimes bad things happen to you and me too.  Sometimes we may hear about scary things going on in the world.  But that’s when we need to remember that Jesus is bigger and stronger than any bad thing.  He made the universe.  He is the King over everything, and he loves us and will help us no matter we face.

Prayer

Jesus, you are all-powerful.  There is no one bigger or stronger than you.  Help me to remember you are in control even when scary things happen that I don’t understand.  Amen.

Talk About It

  1. How do you think the soldiers felt when they first met Jesus?
  2. What are some thing that scare you right now?
  3. How can you remind yourself of Jesus’ power when you’re worried or afraid?

 

Best Surprise Ever 2: Surprising Courage

SurprisingCourage.pngVerse to Remember: No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! – John 10:18 (CEV)

Big Idea: Jesus is courageous and can help me to be courageous too.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?  Maybe you stood up to a bully or stayed in your bed even though you were scared of the dark.  It could be the time you told the truth even though you knew you would get in trouble.  Or the day you chose to do the right thing when everyone around you was doing what was wrong.

Being courageous isn’t easy.  Sometimes it means doing hard things or scary things even when we don’t want to.

Jesus had to decide once if He was going to be courageous.  His Father had sent Him to earth to save the world, but there was only one way to do it.  He would have to die in our place.  See, everyone on earth had done wrong things, and those wrong things kept us from being friends with God.

The only way to save us was for someone to take the punishment for the bad things we’ve done, someone who had never done anything bad himself.  Jesus was the only person qualified to do the job.  He was the only sinless human ever, and he is the Son of God.

Jesus knew if he went through with God’s plan, he would be beaten, nailed to a cross and, worst of all, be separated from his Father for the first time ever.

Jesus had a big decision to make.  He went to a garden to pray and talk to his Father about it.  He said, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. But let what you want be done, not what I want” (Matthew 26:39 NIrV).

That was a courageous prayer.  Jesus asked God three times if there was another way to save the world, and three times he told his Father that he would do whatever God wanted him to do.

There was no other way, so Jesus did the courageous thing.  He obeyed his Father and carried out his plan.  He died on the cross for you and me.  He took the punishment for every wrong thing we would ever do so that we can be forgiven and be friends with God forever.

Jesus’ courageous choice saved the world.
 

Prayer
God, thank you for sending Jesus.  Thank you that he made the courageous choice to die for me.  Please help me to have the courage to do hard things too.  Amen.

 
Talk About It
1. How do you think Jesus felt when he was praying in the garden?
2. When has it been hard for you to do the right thing?
3. How can we follow Jesus’ example when we have a tough choice to make?

 

Don’t miss the next devotion in the Best Surprise Ever series.  Subscribe here.

Best Surprise Ever 1: Jesus Is Alive

BSEBANNER1Verse to Remember: And what is eternal life? It is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. – John 17:3 (NIrV)

Big Idea: Getting to know Jesus will change your life.

 
Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Can you remember the last time you were surprised? Was it a good surprise like a cookie in your lunchbox or was it a bad surprise, like a surprise test at school?

Some surprises are bigger than others. A friends stopping by your house to play might be fun, but a friend inviting you go to Disney with them would be absolutely amazing.

In the history of surprises, however, there is one surprise that is the biggest and best surprise of all time. It is the reason we celebrate Easter and the reason we can celebrate every day of the year.

That surprise is that Jesus is alive. He was alive on that first Easter morning 2,000 years ago, and He is still alive today.

Jesus showed us once and for all that He is the Son of God. He showed us that He is stronger than evil, more powerful than death and bigger than anything we could ever fear.

Best of all, Jesus made a way for us to be alive too. Forever. And that wonderful life with God begins here and now.

Over the next seven weeks we are going to look at the best surprise ever and discover many other surprising things about Jesus along the way. Get ready, because when you take a good look at Jesus, it will change your life.
 

Prayer
Jesus, thank you for the best surprise ever. Please help me to get to know you better over the next several weeks and get me ready to celebrate Easter with you. Amen.

 
Talk About It

1. When was the last time you had a fun surprise?
2. What’s the best surprise you can remember?
3. How do you think Jesus’ friends felt when they found out he was alive?
4. How do you get to know your friends better?  How could you get to know Jesus better?

Don’t miss the next devotion in the Best Surprise Ever series.  Subscribe here.