The Empty Tomb

Have you ever had trouble trusting that something good would happen, even though someone else tells you it will? Maybe you have trouble believing that vegetables really will help you grow up strong and healthy. Some people might have trouble believing that a roller coaster will be fun if they are scared of heights. Your teacher keeps telling you that this homework will come in handy someday but you just don’t believe it. How could doing all these things ever be good for me?

Even though people you trust a lot, like parents or teachers, tell you these things you just can’t seem to believe them. How could something that feels so bad like eating vegetables or doing homework ever actually be good for you? Even if you have trouble believing some of these things now, someday you will thank your parents and teachers for all the times they pushed you to do something because it was good for you. 

Today we will read in the Bible about a time that a lot of people who followed Jesus had a hard time trusting something good would happen. Even though Jesus told them that it would all work out in the end, they still had trouble trusting. 

READ TOGETHER: Mark 15:38-16:8

Jesus had told his disciples and followers many times that he would have to die and rise again to fulfill his Father’s plan of salvation. “That sounds kind of crazy. It must just be a figure of speech,” his disciples might have been thinking along those lines. So, when Jesus is arrested and crucified, his disciples are devastated. How could anything good come from Jesus dying? They didn’t even have time to give him a proper ceremonial burial. They were lucky that Joseph of Arimathea had a tomb that he was willing to use so that they had a place to put Jesus. It had all happened so fast and had gone so wrong is what Jesus’ followers must have thought. 

To try to make up for the fact that they had to bury him quickly, some women who knew and followed Jesus went to go give him a proper burial after the Sabbath day when they had to rest. They were expecting to find a dead Jesus, and were maybe worried about a bad smell because they hadn't been able to cover him in spices before his burial. They thought that they were going to just see more bad stuff. Then they find an angel in an empty tomb that tells them Jesus had risen just like he said he would! Even after that they were so confused that the Gospel of Mark tells us that they ran away and didn’t tell anyone.

We might look at this story and think, “Jesus’ disciples really were silly. How could they not have known what was going on? Jesus said he would come back!” It can be easy to think that we would have known better, but do we? We sometimes don’t trust things that the Bible tells us. Did Jesus really forgive all my sins? Does God really love me? Is God really in control? These are all questions we might ask sometimes, even though we know that God says all those things are true! God always keeps his promises and always keeps his word. We don’t have to doubt anything God says in the Bible. Even when we do God promises that we are already forgiven and that our sin is already wiped away with Jesus’ blood! Praise the Lord that keeps his promises!

Prayer Together: Dear Lord, thank you for always keeping your promises and your word. Help us to trust in the Bible as your word and trust in the promises that you have made to us. When we doubt your promises help us to return to your word and remember your forgiveness! Amen.


Discussion Questions:

Why might it have been hard for Jesus’ disciples to trust what he had said about rising from the dead?


Why might it be hard for us to sometimes trust in God’s promises?


What is something good we can do when we are having a hard time trusting God’s promises? (Lots of good answers to this question!)


Why is it so comforting to know that God keeps all his promises?