Belief is a conspicuous idea. When we say we believe in something, we mean that we either: 1) think the fact/person/event in question really happened at a time in history, 2) agree that this fact/person/event is a good thing and profitable for mankind, or 3) bank our entire life on it.
Jesus, many times, asked men to believe in Him. “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1) “Believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in Me; or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:11) “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:36) “Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, put out your hand and place it at my side; do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:27)
What is Jesus up to in asking such things? Clearly He isn’t asking us to think He really existed. I don’t think He is asking us to agree that His ideas are good in and of themselves, or profitable for all mankind (though I don’t think He is against such thinking). I think by asking men to believe in Him He is asking you and me to bank our entire life on Him and what He says. Parents often tell children to not put all your eggs in one basket and a good financial planner will encourage diversity in a portfolio as opposed to the opposite. Jesus is asking, well more than that. Jesus demands that men place all their eggs in one basket, in His. Why? Because He knows the truth, He is the truth, and therefore knows that when a man places his life in His hands this man will find life. When one denies himself embracing Christ he’ll find independence and wholeness. When one loses their personality in Christ they become more of who they were in Christ than without Christ. We find that the beginning of life in Christ is coming to the end of ourselves.
So the call is clear and the question simple: what do you believe in? What are you banking your life on? Yourself? Christ? There are really only two options in my opinion. One tragic, the other – literally heaven.