Monday, April 2, 2012
THE SIGN OF JONAH: DEATH & RESURRECTION
THE SIN OF LOOKING FOR SIGNS
“A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it but the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” --Matt. 15:4
“But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” --Jonah 1:17
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ, in God…But now you…have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” --Col. 3:3,8-10
Many today look for miraculous signs to convince them that Jesus is the Way. They, like the Jews in Jesus’ day, demand that they be shown bigger and bigger things in order for God to “prove Himself” to them.
Many people who claim to be Jesus’ followers want to provide those signs and wonders. There are whole movements that emphasize spiritual manifestations, the outward show, the circus, the balloons and candy, the excitement and the ceremony.
In order for them to be convinced that something is real, they have to feel, and touch and taste it. They must, like Thomas, see with their own eyes some miraculous proof that Jesus is Lord, and touch with their own hands these proofs, in order to have faith.
Jesus Christ rebukes the “wicked and adulterous generation” who looks for signs, and instead, gives us the only sign we’re ever going to get from Him.
That sign, the sign of Jonah, is Death and Resurrection.
That is the miracle we see only by faith in the Son of God.
The world demands signs, but those who will know Christ, and follow Him truly, will be willing to die, and be resurrected, with their Lord. As Paul says, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” --Phil. 1:21
It is a wicked and adulterous desire that causes us to demand signs of God.
Faith listens, hears and obeys. Faith does not brazenly demand of the God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, that He comply with our childish, foolish wishes to be entertained and “wowed” by circus tent miracles.
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’ “ --Matt. 7:22,23
We who follow Jesus through the Narrow Gate, and on the Narrow Way He takes, will do this daily dying to self, and be resurrected to new life, become New Creations, in Christ.
This is the sign, our miracle resurrection in Him, that Jesus shows the world!
What greater miracle could there be than seeing the blind see, the lame walk, the weak made strong? What greater miracle could their be than seeing the old nature, with its ugly, worldly ways die, and a New Man be born in Christ, up from the grave, shining in purity and love and all the Ways of God?
This is the “sign of Jonah” Jesus is giving us!
This resurrection miracle is the proof that satisfies “those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” --Matt. 5:6
Beware, brothers, of seeking any other sign. Danger lurks in every corner for those who disobey this Word of God. Satan can duplicate for his own purposes physical signs and wonders, and so-called “spiritual manifestations.”
But he cannot duplicate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in us.
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