‘Don’t trust anyone.’ You often hear that in films, and you can be sure that the main character will later be betrayed by someone that they do make the mistake of trusting. The implication of this is that you can’t actually live without trusting people. You might think you’re not a trusting person, but you still trust some people. If your children are at school, you trust their teachers to teach them and not to harm them. You trust the barista in Starbucks not to poison your coffee. And the higher the stakes, the more trustworthy a person needs to be. If you’re jumping out of a plane, you want your pilot and whoever packed your parachute to be trained and qualified!
I’ve put my ultimate trust in one man – not just for my life, but for the lives of my children. That man is the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth. I am bringing my children up to put their trust in him, and to do that I have to be sure I trust him myself. Otherwise, it’s too great a risk.
I got some good practice at this just under two years ago, when my brother had to have brain surgery to remove a benign tumour. My brother believes in Jesus, and so Jesus promises that my brother will have eternal life with him. Faced with the idea that my brother could die (brain surgery is brain surgery, after all), I had to decide again: do I trust this Jesus? Do I trust him with my brother’s life? At that time, I clung to this promise of Jesus from John’s Gospel:
‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ John 11:25 (He said this to Martha, whose brother had just died.)
At that time of fear and uncertainty, I chose to trust Jesus. And every day, as I teach my children the Bible and bring them up to be soldiers of Christ, I am choosing to trust Jesus. I’m trusting that he is all that he said he is when he walked the earth.
But how can I trust him? There’s no greater risk than risking your eternal future, and so how has Jesus earned my trust?
Let me show you:
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”’ Then they remembered his words. Luke 20:1-8.
Friends, the tomb was empty.