The Jesus Who Surprises

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Burning Hearts

During the time I was writing The Jesus Who Surprises, I went to dinner with my friends Ron and Debbie. When I told them I was writing a book about how Jesus surprises us by turning up in the Old Testament and in our everyday lives, Ron asked in disbelief, “Jesus is in the Old Testament?” 

I nodded. “Yes! Every prophet, priest, slain lamb, and suffering servant is a foreshadowing of Jesus, who is the ultimate prophet, priest, slain lamb, and suffering servant. But it is even more comprehensive than that. It isn’t just that Jesus hides in every Old Testament book, but that one story—the story of His promised rescue—threads all the way through. God loved the Son so much, He created a bride for Him in Genesis 1. Then, when that bride was unfaithful, God had to rescue her. That story is the tapestry of the whole Bible, from Genesis through Revelation.” 

I told him about the walk to Emmaus, where Jesus Himself reveals that we should be searching the whole Old Testament for Him and His redemptive gospel plan. Yet often we miss seeing Jesus in our lives because His behavior does not fit our expectations. Just as the disciples did, when we discover Jesus in unexpected places, “our hearts burn within us” and we are transformed. 

Over more than a thousand years, many holy men, from many cultures and places,  usually working independently of one another, told the same story. How could this be? It is because almighty God Himself is behind the various personalities telling this One Story, this story of His quest to rescue the family He loves. 

This same Jesus who rescued His people back then is still rescuing us today. Often He appears when we are at our lowest, facing shattered dreams. He may surprise us, just as He did for the two on the road to Emmaus, by turning our sorrow into joy. Or He may show up when we least expect Him in answers to prayer, in timing that is too unusual to be coincidence, or through the sense of His holy presence. 

May we cultivate the habit of looking for Jesus where we might have missed Him before, just as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus saw Him where they least expected Him. 

When has God’s presence in your life surprised you?