I am a dreamer, a visionary. I look at the future and can see so many possibilities. When things are going good and there are options for tomorrow I can’t help but get excited about what may be. I can’t help but envision what could be coming. I know this can set me up for disappointment so I try to keep myself grounded in reality but my imagination loves to dream.
I wonder what the disciples and Jesus close followers were dreaming about as they spent their time getting to know Jesus more, saw him perform miracles, watched the crowds follow and praise him. I wonder if even the realists in the bunch started to see a future on earth where Rome wasn’t in control, where the religious leaders were put in their place, stripped of their power.
How shocking Jesus’ arrest, trial, death and hasty burial must have been to them. Even though Jesus had been dropping hints, telling them about what would happen, we read that they didn’t yet understand what was happening. And can we really blame them? Would we have expected him to die an excruciating death and then come back to life?
Mary Magdalene wept at the sight of an empty tomb. She begged the Gardener to tell her where they had laid her Lord. The two disciples who ran, didn’t understand what had happened – though one believed. The disciples hiding in an upper room weren’t expecting Jesus to appear. Neither was Thomas. None of them were expecting the resurrection. It isn’t something they could have dreamed up. It wasn’t even an inkling in their imaginations.
Yet, it happened.
Here is the lesson for us today. God’s plan is unexpected. The way he carries out his plan is unexpected. The future he has for us is unexpected. Just like the resurrection was unexpected. It is unexpected and it is better.
Jesus raising from the dead was better than any dream anyone could have had about what he would become and what he would do. The disciples had a limited human perspective. The crowds too. They were looking for someone to fix their temporary needs and Jesus came to fix their eternal one. Jesus plan of taking their sin and punishment by dying on the cross, raising again and then sending his Spirit to live within each person who believes is beyond anything any human could have dreamed up.
I need to hold on to the promise of John 20 because in my life I need Jesus to show up in the ways I would never expect. I need a miracle in the midst of great unknown. I need life when all I see is death. Hope when surrounded by hopelessness. A light when everything is dark.
I am human and my outlook is so short sighted. So temporal. My eyes can only reach so far. My creativity has limits. My plans are very faulty and my attention to detail is seriously lacking. I am like Mary weeping in the garden wondering where my Lord has gone when he is standing right in front of me working out his greatest plan for my life yet.
Maybe you can relate today and maybe you can’t. But if you find yourself in a place where it feels like Jesus has left, if you can’t see the light and the plan isn’t working like you had thought, today will you let the resurrection be your reminder that God is working a plan for your life that you don’t expect. He is working an Ephesians 3:20 plan. The kind that is beyond anything you could ask, think or imagine. And will you ask him for the grace upon grace that is so desperately needed to see what he is doing and believe. Following the disciples in the tomb who believed before they understood. Lord, give us this grace to follow by faith and to accept your forgiveness when we stumble blindly and forget you never left at all but that you are alive and working in our very midst.
- What impossible situation do you need to believe the Resurrected King is working in today? Will you share it in prayer with him?
- Do you have a time in the past where God has worked in an unexpected way? Recount it to build your faith.
- Who needs to know about the Resurrected Jesus and his plan of salvation and that it is for them? Will you begin to pray for an opportunity to share Jesus with them?
Steph is a mom to four girls and wife to one very supportive man. She is the Executive Director of Stories Foundation and is passionate about fighting for freedom both spiritual and physical. Her days consist of car pooling, ministry, parenting and lots of coffee.