Children’s Sermon

John 20:1-18

A Happy Surprise!

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John 20:1-18

A Happy Surprise!

By Lois Parker Edstrom

A surprise is when something happens that you don’t expect. Some surprises can be scary. Suppose you are blowing up a balloon and it suddenly pops. You don’t expect that to happen and when it does the loud noise may frighten you. That’s a scary surprise. The same thing can happen if your brother, sister, or a friend hops out from behind a door and says, “Boo!” You may scream and jump back.

Then there are happy surprises. We like those the best. Perhaps friends you haven’t seen for a long time come to visit, your family plans a surprise birthday party for you, or a new puppy arrives at your house. You may have received 100 percent on a test at school when you didn’t expect it, won a contest, or found a new friend. These are all pleasant surprises. Have any of you had happy surprises happen? (Ask this question, time permitting.)

Probably the biggest surprise in all of history occurred to Mary Magdalene. She is a woman who knew Jesus and she was very sad when he died. Here is what the Bible tells us about her story: “… Mary was standing outside at the tomb (of Jesus) weeping” (20:11).

As she wept she bent over to look into the tomb and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying…. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” (20:13).

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him” (20:13). “When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing (there)…” (20:14).

Can you imagine what a surprise it must have been for Mary to see Jesus again after he had died? Jesus said to Mary,“I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God”(20:17).

At Easter time this is the happy surprise that we talk about – that Jesus rose from the dead and went to be with God in heaven. This is the happy surprise that makes us Christians. This is the happy surprise of God’s love.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan