Clues to the Big Surprise
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Can you remember what it was like to be a tiny tyke at Christmastime?
Nathan’s dad helped him pick out a simple gift for his mom. Nathan wrapped the present, the numerous lumps making the gift all the more beautiful. The special gift hadn’t been under the tree more than a half hour when Nathan’s mom said, “I wonder who this wonderful present is for.”
Nathan was too bubbly to keep from babbling: “Mommy, it’s for you! And it’s a VeggieTales pot holder!”
A surprise isn’t much of a surprise if somebody tells you about it ahead of time. But sometimes a surprise is way too good to keep to yourself.
God, in fact, had a hard time keeping his secret when he was planning to send Christ to earth to die for us and then rise from the dead. It was a secret God had hidden for a long time. His plan to save the world through Jesus was older than Planet Earth. The apostle Paul wrote, “For [God] chose us in [Jesus] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4, NIV).
God oozed excitement about his plan and the new life we would receive through it. So centuries before Jesus was born, God burst. He just had to start talking about his surprise. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies about Christ. These detailed statements were spoken hundreds of years before he was born. Jesus would
• be born into the family of David (see 2 Samuel 7:12)
• be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
• do miracles (see Isaiah 35:5-6)
• be rejected by his people (see Isaiah 53:3)
• be betrayed by a friend (see Psalm 41:9)
• have his hands and feet pierced (see Psalm 22:16)
• suffer and die for our sins (see Isaiah 53:5)
• rise from the dead (see Job 19:25; Psalm 16:10)
• ascend to heaven (see Psalm 68:18)
God had a surprise he couldn’t keep, a plan to bring you close to him now and forever. It was good news that wouldn’t keep. It was good news for you.
TALK: Do you feel excited about a God who was so eager to share Christ with you that he couldn’t keep silent?
PRAY: Express some of your excitement in a prayer of thanks.
ACT: Do you know someone who doesn’t know that God spoke these promises about Jesus hundreds of years before his birth? Go share the good news!