Surprised by Shakespeare! (Matthew 16:21)

It was the final performance of our high school production of a Shakespearean play. My classmate and I had small but entertaining roles with a lively sword fight at the end. The director cleverly staged the scene and had us chase each other through the seated audience, adding to the revelry. A few hours before the performance, he turned to me and said, “Hey, let’s do something cool! When we do our final sword fight, let’s swing at each other but intentionally miss and destroy the papier-mache statue between us!”


“Ha! That would blow everyone away! No need to keep it for another performance, right?”  His suggestion was brilliant!


“So on our final sword fight, we’ll look at each other, nod, then we do it!”


“It’s going to be great!”


Eagerly anticipating our prank, we snickered through the performance as we stole glances at each other. Finally, our scene was on. We chased each other around the audience, yelling and swinging our swords, before arriving at the statue. We stared each other down then swung our swords at the same time from opposite directions. The papier-mache statue exploded into a cloud of paper and dust! For a second the performance stopped as the entire audience stared at the spectacle in amazement. We did not think the entire statue would disintegrate! We knew exactly what was going to happen, but when it occurred, we were still caught by surprise!


From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Matthew 16:21 (ESV)


Jesus Christ repeatedly told His disciples that He would suffer and die and on the third day, be raised through resurrection. Yet when all these events occurred as He predicted, they were still in disbelief, even denial. The angel present in Jesus’ tomb reminded Mary Magdalene, the first to see the Risen Christ, of His promises.


But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”

Matthew 28:5-7 (ESV)


From the first sins of Adam and Eve, God promised us a Savior who would redeem us of our sins and restore the broken relationship between God and man. Through thousands of years of prophecies, God kept reminding us. He kept His promise by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. All who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will have salvation and eternal life in His Name.


Even when I know the outcome, am I still surprised? Yes! And still grateful to God’s love and compassion to all who place their trust in Him.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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