Over the next three days we will look at a recent sermon I preached entitled “Why can you trust Jesus?”
Like all good dads, I toss my kids up in the air when they are little. It freaks out their mom and grandmother, but the kids love it.
I do it now with our one-year-old daughter. She loves flying up in the air and back down because she’s not worried about me not catching her.
She trusts me because, even though she doesn’t have the words to express it right now, she knows that I love her and will take care of her. Because of our relationship, she knows I will catch her.
As we think about why you, as a Christian, can trust Jesus, it is the same. It’s our relationship with Him. I think we can see that clearly in John 11:1-44 and the situation surrounding Lazarus’ death.
I know this is a familiar story to many of you, but read the conclusion back into the beginning. Try to get a sense for what the people involved would be feeling as the story progresses.
Sovereignty in Lazarus’ Story
The first reason we can trust Jesus is His sovereignty (John 11:1-16).
The main thing we want to draw from this part of the story is that Jesus is always on His throne, even when things don’t make sense.
We see something that doesn’t make sense to us early on in this passage. Look at John 11:5-6.
Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
He loved that family. They had a relationship. So when he heard Lazarus was sick, He quickly ran to their home. Nope. Immediately, healed Lazarus. That’s not it either.
In verse 2, we see Lazarus got sick so Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus. That makes total sense.
In verse 6, we see Lazarus got sick so Jesus stayed two extra days. That doesn’t really make sense at all.
The disciples thought Jesus didn’t go because the Jews had just tried to stone Him (10:31, 39) because He had claimed to be God (10:30, 38). But instead, Jesus was waiting to give another miraculous sign to back up that claim (11:4).
Sovereignty in Your Story
That may seem miles away from your current situation, but here’s why it matters to you. Yes, Lazarus was dead, but that was not the end. Your problem is not the end either.
Mary and Martha could manage this death because Life was coming. Your situation, no matter how difficult, will not be final because Life has come and is coming again.
No darkness we face in this life can eclipse the brightness of the next life or the Life. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
For them the glory and gain of Lazarus’ resurrection far outweighed the suffering and pain of his temporary death. The same is true for us, but we are still in the in-between period.
This life is like those few days of suffering and waiting Mary and Martha endured. But that can’t be the extent of our perspective.
If you catch this point, it can change everything. Your circumstances should not determine how you view God’s love. Instead God’s love should determine how you view your circumstances.
Sometimes your circumstances will be great. Sometimes not. But if you have put your faith in Christ for salvation, at all times you have God’s love and acceptance.
We may never know all the why’s right now, but we can always know the Who. We can trust Jesus because He is always on His throne even when things don’t make sense.
We can also trust Christ because of His suffering. We will look at that next.