The unexpected sometimes happens. Who would have thought that Andy Murray would finally win Wimbledon, the first British male to do so since Fred Perry, some seventy seven years ago? Who would have thought that sixteen years after the last victorious tour, the British and Irish Lions would triumph in Australia? Admittedly, with ten Welshmen in the starting line up, the series clinching 16-41 win wasn’t too hard to predict. But still, it goes to show that strange stuff happens. And what about Chris Frome winning the Tour de France in the wake of Bradley Wiggins' 2012 victory?
Perhaps the strangest thing of all is how a small band of followers of a travelling preacher from Nazareth came to have such a powerful impact on the world. It’s not as if they had a message that the masses were longing to hear. What they said concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus provoked widespread ridicule and hostility. Yet nothing could stop them proclaiming that Jesus was the world’s true Lord and King.
Jesus preached a message that was so out of the ordinary it left people reeling. He called not the righteous, but sinners to follow him. He pronounced blessing not on the high and mighty, but on the poor in spirit and promised that the meek will inherit the earth.
Yet perhaps the most surprising thing about Jesus is that what may seem like the moment of his utter defeat was in fact his greatest triumph. The would-be Messiah was crucified, dying the death of a common criminal. But this was no terrible accident. It was the victory of love. Jesus willingly died in our place so that those who believe in him may be forgiven and be put right with God. He was raised from the dead that we may have the hope of everlasting life.
That is the ultimate ‘tale of the unexpected’.
* From my article in the White Horse News