“For God so loved the world…”
Beginning with Abraham, God revealed His plan to bring all people, not just Israel, to himself one generation after the other.
“and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
God chose Israel to be the avenue of His blessing on all. The book of Jonah unwraps the truth of God’s love and mercy for all people in a most unusual way.
“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.
And Jonah was in the belly of the fish
three days and three nights.”
Jesus likened his own death to Jonah’s* experience. Keep in mind Jesus does not call Jonah’s account a parable but in truth an event. So in truth if you believe Jonah is a myth, how does that translate into what you believe about Jesus death and resurrection?
“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.”
In Jewish culture at that time any portion of a day(24 hour period which includes the night) is spoken of as a day. Even as I might say, “I spent the day with my friend,” but was there only 4 or 5 hours. The phrase is a figure of speech. The important issue remains in what Jesus said about His own death and resurrection.
“And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them,
The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
And they shall kill him,
and the third day he shall be raised again…”
Even as Jonah was not held by the fish…
“And the LORD spake unto the fish,
and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”
Death could not hold our Lord.
“And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye:
for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here:
for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
As Jonah went to his grave to learn obedience…
And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh ,
according to the word of the LORD…
And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey,
and he cried, and said,
Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”
As did Jesus.
“And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.”
When Jonah obeyed many, a whole city came to salvation. Some estimate 600,000 filled Nineveh.
- “So the people of Nineveh believed God,
- and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth,
- from the greatest of them even to the least of them…
- let man and beast be covered with sackcloth,
- and cry mightily unto God:
- yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands…
- And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;
- and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not…
Why? Because God is…
“a gracious God, and merciful…”
God desires mercy rather than judgment. In His mercy He placed our judgment on His Son.
Jesus’ obedience brings many…many more to salvation than even in Jonah’s day.
“For if through the offence of one many be dead,
much more the grace of God,
and the gift by grace,
which is by one man, Jesus Christ,
hath abounded unto many…
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,
so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
Why did God do this thing?
“For God so loved the world,[that is you and me],
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.”
Just before Jesus’ crucifixion He told his disciples…
“because I live, ye shall live also.”
- Do you know the risen living Savior?
- Do you believe He died to take your sentence of death because of sin?
- Do you believe He rose again and lives so you can live eternally with Him?
- How you answer these questions determines your path of life today and into eternity
Please, share in the comments if you have questions or if you want to receive Jesus gift of forgiveness and life.
*Jonah is translated Jonas in the KJV.