The Unexpected Exit
Nobody had expected this! After Friday nobody expected what would happen on Sunday. It was only two days ago that the people of Jerusalem had watched as Jesus had been crucified as a religious heretic as well as a traitor to Rome. For three years Jesus had traveled throughout Israel, preaching, teaching, healing the sick and feeding the hungry. He had quieted storms and cast out demons. During that time, he had won the hearts of the people and alienated the religious leaders of the day.
And if there had been those present on Friday afternoon who were inclined to wager, they would have bet on Jesus being the biggest loser. After all, they had watched him get beaten half to death, they had watched as the crown of thorns had been crushed onto his head, and they watched as he was nailed to a cross and hung in the sun to die. He was dead, and this was completely unexpected. They had seen him die and word had spread far and wide that the prophet was dead!
John listed those who stood closest to the cross at Jesus’ death: “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25).
And so, on that Sunday morning victory was snatched away from the enemy. And tears of sorrow became tears of joy. A weekend that began in an unexpected way on Friday had an unexpected ending on Sunday. Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!