Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jesus Gives "The Sign of Jonah"

Thanks Morguefile.com
Earlier in Jesus' ministry, the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus for a miraculous sign. This always seemed strange to me since it seems Jesus was performing miracles often. Nevertheless, as a test to see if he was the Messiah, these officials asked for a "sign."

(In the Bible, especially in the book of John, the word "sign" means a miracle or a "miraculous sign.")

Jesus never performed a miracle solely for the sake of performing a miracle. He was not a show-off or a circus act. Jesus only performed miracles when he had a much larger message to share through it. (Tweet that!)

"He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet 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' " (Matthew 12:39-40).

Sometime later some of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus to test him by asking him for a sign from heaven. He said:
" 'A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.' Jesus then left them and went away" (Matthew 16:4).
The gospel-writer Luke also recorded this:
"As the crowds increased, Jesus said, 'This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah' " (Luke 11:29).
The sign of Jonah which Jesus was referring to, as Jesus made clear in the first Scripture passage above, refers to the three days, though no one would probably have read this verse as prophecy. In the original story of Jonah found in the Old Testament we are told this:
"But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights" (Jonah 1:17).
Jesus takes this verse and applies it to himself as a sign. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the big fish for three days and three nights, so Jesus would be in the grave for three days and nights. And that is exactly what happened. (Tweet that!)

After the people watched Jesus die on the cross, after the Roman soldiers verified that he was dead, after Pilate gave Joseph of Arimathea permission to take Jesus' body down and after Nicodemus helped Joseph bury him, Jesus laid in the tomb for three days and nights.

And then…
"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" (Luke 24:1-3).
And that is how the prophecy Jesus spoke and applied to himself, the prophecy of "the Sign of Jonah," was fulfilled. (Tweet that!) So the Pharisees and Sadducees got the miraculous sign they asked for that proved Jesus was the Messiah! (Tweet that!)

Jesus was in the grave for three days and then rose from the dead!

Special Note:

Tomorrow we are going to take a side trip on our journey to Easter. In anticipation of the first of the four coming lunar eclipses occurring next week, we're going to...
  1. cover some of the Scriptures and prophecies concerning the moon as a sign (Tweet that!)
  2. get a primer on the Jewish calendar, 
  3. look at the prophetic significance of the Feasts of the LORD
  4. talk about causes of red or "blood" moons, 
  5. and discover past "tetrads" of four lunar eclipses on Jewish Feast days in history and what happened then. 

I think you'll be fascinated! Don't miss it. And please invite your friends or church to join us.You can also use the share buttons at the bottom of each post to share this.

Here is the schedule:
  • Day 10, April 9: The Moon as a Sign and the Prophesied Blood Red Moons
  • Day 9, April 10: How the Jewish Calendar Works
  • Day 8, April 11: The Prophetic Significance of the Feasts of the LORD
  • Day 7, April 12: What Causes the Moon to Turn Red Like Blood?
  • Day 6, April 14: "Tetrad" of Four Lunar Eclipses on Jewish Feast Days in the Past
  • Day 5, April, 15: The First Lunar Eclipse on Passover 2014 (and why I don't expect anything to happen that day.)

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