Every year Americans celebrate Christmas and Easter. No matter what the belief system, everyone celebrates the birth and death of Jesus. We, as a society, expect it.

In the Gospels, Jesus tells the disciples exactly what is going to happen, but it was totally unexpected when it happened. It may have been because they were not listening, or not wanting to hear, but no one was waiting at the grave for Him to rise that first Easter morning!

But He did rise, and He appeared to over 500 people in the next 40 days.

We know this because these and thousands of others went to their deaths in the first century alone declaring, “He has risen!”

The resurrection was the greatest rebuke and defeat in all of history.

It gives every person the choice to be what men and women have always desired – whole, healed, and with hope.

It was all part of God’s plan to buy us back from slavery.

What He promises He delivers in a totally unexpected way!

The empty grave holds unexpected promises for you.

Go back in the story to the “Last Supper.” All that evening Jesus was telling them He was going away but would return. After being with Him for three years, witnessing the miracles and listening to the teachings, they were crushed that He was talking about leaving them.

But He makes a promise, “If you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.”

Then the most amazing thing happens – He begins to pray and ask the Father to do the totally unexpected. His prayer and His promises are as good today as the night He asked His father for them in the Upper Room.

What did He ask His Father?
– that you and I would be friends with God
– for our protection from the evil one
– that our lives would have deep and meaningful purpose
– that we would have unity and friendships with one another

3 Unexpected and Wonderful Promises for You:

1) Eternal Life – knowing Jesus is the eternal life
John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

2) Joy – “that they would have My joy made full in themselves.”

Knowing Jesus brings joy back to living; it is one of the most common attributes of true Jesus followers.

John 7:38  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

Real joy is one of the greatest needs in people today. It is one of the first things that is given by the Lord when you invite Him to take over your life.

3) Companionship – the most unexpected gift

Our world is so broken! Friends come and go; families break apart. The most common brokenness is found in relationships.

John 17:26  His disciples said, “And I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

John 14:18  “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

John 14:23   Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”

John 10:27-29  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Unexpected Life
Unexpected Joy
Unexpected Friends for Eternity

The resurrection is not just about an empty grave, but it’s about promises being fulfilled.
These promises are for you, these and so much more than you can ever imagine!

Paul said this, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am the foremost of all.”

In all of our lives, His grace is unexpected.
Digging Deeper:

– What areas in your life do you need Jesus to give you joy?
– As a believer, how have you experienced these promises?