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.

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.

Best Surprise Ever – Family Easter Devotional

bestsurpriseWe all love fun surprises, don’t we?  About 2,000 years ago, God gave us the biggest and best surprise of all time.  Jesus is alive!

Help your family get ready to celebrate the resurrection with these seven devotions leading up to Easter Sunday.

Sign up to receive this seven-week e-mail series and other free family devotions here.  You will receive Best Surprise Ever delivered straight to your inbox each week starting Wednesday, February 14th and continuing through Easter.

Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Surprising Plan: John 3:16
  2. Surprising Courage: The Garden of Gethsamane
  3. Surprising Power: Soldiers Fall At Jesus’ Feet
  4. Surprising Patience: Peter Denies Jesus
  5. Surprising Kingdom: Jesus Before Pilate
  6. Surprising Love: Jesus Dies on the Cross
  7. Surprising Life: The Tomb Is Empty!

With Me


Photo Credit: jlwo via Compfight cc

Scripture: Luke 23:39-43

Verse:  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” – John 14:3 (NIV)

Nobody knows what he stole.  Probably not a loaf of bread.  A loaf of bread usually doesn’t get you killed.

Some think he was an insurrectionist.  A rebel.  A guerrilla.  Maybe even one of Barabbas’ boys.

Did they heist tax money?  Knock over a weapons’ depot?  Doesn’t matter.

One thing’s for sure.  He crossed the Romans so the Romans crossed him.

Savage spikes pinning him to the wood.  His body stretched across rough timber.  A grotesque billboard of brutality and pain.  

Whatever he’d done, he knew he deserved it.  But the other guy?  The one the Sanhedrin hated so much?  He didn’t belong here.

He belonged somewhere else, and wherever that somewhere else was, the thief wanted to be there with him.

“Remember me when you come into you kingdom.”

Had anyone ever remembered this guy, included him, invited him?  Had he ever been shown kindness or generosity or was he the kind of man who had to take what he wanted?

There was no taking anymore.  Just a desperate plea.

And a promise.

“Today you will be with me in paradise.”

With me.  Not just in paradise, but with me in paradise.  Included, invited, remembered.  With me.

* * *

Nobody knows for sure what the thief on the cross had stolen, but we be can certain of what he was given.  The promise of the presence of Jesus.

When we feel excluded, forgotten and hopeless, when we feel like there is no second chance, when it looks like it’s just too late, we can remember that the same promise applies to us.

Today, you will be with me.   

Prayer: God, thank you for the promise of your presence.  Thank you that I always have a place with you no matter where I’ve been, what I’ve done or what I’m going through.  Amen.  

Question: Where do you need Jesus’ presence in your life today?

 Note: This post is excerpted from Everyday Easter Devotions.