April 06, 2012

In the Heart of the Earth

Matthew 12:40
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

The request for a sign from the Pharisees gives the Lord an opportunity to pronounce the judgment of that generation. They had just seen a miracle (ie, the healing of the demoniac), but demand another. Jesus wasn't a circus performer or public entertainer; Miracles weren't done to gratify human curiosity or to secure popular applause, but to confirm who He was: the Son of God.

If you think about it, "signs" had abounded up to that point. Here are a few:

1. He healed a leper (Mt. 8:2-3)
2. He healed a palsied servant of the centurion (Mt. 8:1-10)
3. He cast out demons (Mt. 8:28-34)
4. He healed every sickness & disease among the people (Mt. 9:35-38)
5. He healed a withered hand on the sabbath (Mt. 12:9-14)
6. He healed a demoniac (Mt. 12:22-23)

Thus, with their unbelieving heart, the only sign Christ gave this bunch of unbelievers was the sign of Jonah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so should the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. And the miracle was this: Just as the life of Jonah was preserved in the whale, Christ too would be in the earth, both of which are a picture of a living burial). On the other hand, while Jonah was a prisoner for his own sins, Christ was a Prisoner for ours. Even so, death could not hold Him down!

Keep in mind that when Jonah preached to the Ninevites, their conduct changed. They were condemned by God's word through the preaching of Jonah and they repented as a consequence. The evil generation in Christ's day had already rejected Him in spite of the healings and preaching by the Son of God. Therefore they were judged already because they believed not and repented not, even though Someone greater than Jonah stood before them.

Another way to consider Pharisees is by word-playing with their name: Far-I-see. In other words, the Pharisees didn't believe the signs and healings of the Lord Jesus Christ because they could only believe in what they saw with their eyes "as far as they could see". In their state of hardened hearts, they couldn't not see at all, being spiritually blind.

Friend, Christ came to give sight to the blind. Are you wandering around, struggling and stumbling day to day with no real purpose in your life? Christ died for you, my Friend. Understand something: Jesus did not stay in the earth for that much time. He was resurrected from the dead by the power of God. Oh, make no mistake, Jesus is the Messiah, Saviour and Lord.

Don't put off tomorrow what can be done today! Be saved by the King of kings! Here's how: I Want to Make Jesus My Lord and Savior Today!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

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