Each year I go out into the backyard to hide Easter eggs for my girls. I always choose the brightly coloured eggs, with the challenge of trying to find new hiding spots every time so that I am keeping them on their toes.
On Easter Sunday it’s exciting to see them with buckets in hand, off exploring the yard looking for eggs. Their exclamations of delight when they spot one always make me smile. My youngest comes running back to show me what she’s found—her eyes lit up with the surprise of Easter egg hunting.
I suppose it has become an Easter tradition for our family, as we talk about and share new life in Christ.
As I have been reflecting on this experience, I’ve been drawn to the feeling of surprise—my children know what they are hunting for, they know that they will find eggs, and yet they are continually surprised and delighted by this adventure.
This has led me to think about the Easter story, looking at the idea of surprise. Although Jesus had shared with the disciples about the resurrection, they hadn’t come to a place of understanding before his crucifixion.
I wonder what it was like for Mary in the garden on that Sunday morning, totally unaware of what she was about to encounter on approaching the tomb. Her feeling of surprise at seeing Jesus alive must have been overwhelming. No wonder she ran to tell the others. When Jesus appeared to the frightened disciples, there must have been a mixture of surprise and delight seeing him alive again as well.
Unlike the way my girls look for Easter eggs, knowing they will eventually find some, Mary and the disciples did not expect to find Jesus alive. They were truly surprised to see him. This Easter as I celebrate new life in Christ, I will be watching for the surprises … will you?