When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. – Mark 16:1-2

My parents were big fans of the Andy Griffith Show and by default I got into the stories and characters from Mayberry and their various exploits. Occasionally, I’ll catch an old episode on cable and just sit in the chair with a nostalgic grin on my face.

One of the most endearing role players on the show was Gomer Pyle, the gentle, simple-minded mechanic at Wally’s Filling Station. Gomer didn’t really get into a lot of mischief but he was known for his comedic timing and catchphrases like: “Shazam”, “G-o-l-l-y”, and my personal favorite, “Sur-prise, Sur-prise, Sur-prise!”

A surprise is exactly what Mary, the mother of James, Mary Magdalene and Salome were in for when they went to the tomb on that morning. When they walked up to where Jesus was buried, they were met with a set of events that left them astounded.

The first surprise was finding the stone already rolled away from the entrance to the tomb so they were able to go in (16:4). The second surprise was running into the angel when they entered the tomb (16:5). The third surprise was the message the angel gave them about Jesus (16:6-7).

What a morning. No wonder they were amazed. But isn’t that what Jesus does? We show up expecting one thing, and in his authority and power, he says, “Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!”

How has God’s power left you amazed throughout your life? Recall an instance, large or small, when you’ve been surprised by joy and thank God in your heart for all he’s done for you.



©2013 Jason Autry.  Originally posted March 25, 2013 at