Read Matt 12:38–50
Mat 12:39-42 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (40) For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (41) The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (42) The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign… so the song goes, but the Jews were looking for a different sign. If they had been paying attention the last twelve chapters they would have seen plenty of signs. Their unbelief kept them from recognizing them for what they were. Indeed, they were an evil and adulterous generation. Like their fathers before them, they did not believe and trust the Word of God. They could not see their Lord was standing before them.
So Jesus tells them they will be given a sign, a sure and certain sign that he is who he says he is. He will give them the sign of Jonah. He will be dead and on the third day rise from the dead. Indeed they, the unbelieving Jews, will put a guard on his tomb to keep his disciples from stealing his body and yet the body was no longer there on the third day. Yet they would not believe the Scriptures that Jesus is the messiah, the very Son of God. For they would have to believe the witnesses who saw him alive as their own eyes bear witness of the empty tomb. They refused to believe with their own eyes while he was on this side of the resurrection or the other side. They refused to believe his word. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus tells us, “If we don’t believe Moses and the prophets, we won’t repent even if someone rises from the dead.”
We are in a similar state as the Jews. Sure we’d love to see some signs from heaven. We’d like to see a miracle or two. Yet we have Moses and the prophets. We are called to believe what they have written for us. On top of that, we have witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus and what they wrote. We have the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ through their hands. We too are called to believe what has been written. God is not going to provide us anything more. If we won’t believe what was written we’re certainly not going to believe the sign of Jonah.
But look, we have 500 witnesses of the resurrection. If Jesus is risen from the dead then you are forgiven of your sins. Eternal life and the resurrection to glory is being given to you. God is a peace with you because of the sacrifice on the cross by Jesus. God loves you so much he sent Jesus to bear your punishment there and Jesus’ resurrection is proof that He accepted that offering. It’s all yours. You just have to believe it.
Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us your Holy Spirit that our hearts may be converted, repent of our sins and believe in the sign of Jonah, Jesus provided. Amen.