God's Wonderful Surprise

April 12-18

God’s Wonderful Surprise

April 12-18 Family Devotions
Part 1

These short devotions are based on Sally Lloyd Jones’ paraphrase of the resurrection of Jesus—as found in her book “The Jesus Storybook Bible.”

Week of April 12-18

Theme: God’s Wonderful Surprise


Jesus’ friends gently carried Jesus. They laid Jesus in a new tomb carved out of rock.

How could Jesus die? What had gone wrong? What did it mean?

They didn’t know anything anymore. Except they did know their hearts were breaking.

“That’s the end of Jesus,” the Leaders said. But, just to be sure, they sent strong soldiers to guard the tomb. They hauled a huge stone in front of the door to the tomb. So that no one could get in. Or out.

Jesus’ friends were sad. They would never see their best friend again. How could this happen? Wasn’t Jesus the Rescuer? The King God had promised? It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Yes, but whoever said anything about the end?

Just before sunrise, on the third day, God sent an earthquake—and an angel from heaven. When the guards saw the angel, they fell down with fright.

The angel rolled the huge stone away, sat on top of it, and waited.

At the first glimmer of dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other women headed to the tomb to wash Jesus’ body. The early morning sun slanted through the ancient olive trees, drops of dew glittering on leaves and grasses—little tears everywhere.

The friends walked quietly along the hilly path, through the olive groves, until they reached the tomb. And immediately noticed something odd—it was wide open.

They peered through the opening into the dark tomb. But wait. Jesus’ body was gone!

And something else: a shining man was there, with clothes made from lightning.“Don’t be scared,” the angel said.

But (they couldn’t help it) they screamed anyway.
The angel asked them, “What are you doing there? This is a tomb and tombs are for dead people.”

The women couldn’t speak.

“Jesus isn’t dead anymore!” He said. “He’s alive again!”

And their hearts lept. And then the angel laughed with such gladness that they felt, for a moment, as if they had woken from a nightmare.


What are some wonderful surprises you’ve had before?

What was it like for Jesus’ friends to discover he wasn’t in the tomb anymore?

What do you think an angel’s laugh sounds like? Pretend to be a laughing angel.

Family Project

Pray together. Thank God for all of his wonderful surprises…especially for the surprise of Jesus being alive, our savior, healer, and friend.