“Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (Jonah 2:10)
Jesus was the only baby born to die. He was born to become the sacrificial Passover Lamb. His birth in Bethlehem set in motion events that spanned about 33 years that, by the plan of God, would reach their climax at a place called Golgotha, or Calvary.
Along His journey, a day came when some of the religious leaders challenged His authenticity and demanded that He given them a sign if He was the Messiah. Jesus commented first about their generation and then responded, “No sign will be given to it [this generation] except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:39-40)
Jonah 2:5-6 reads, “The waters engulfed me up to the neck; the watery depths overcame me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. I sank to the foundations of the mountains; the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever! But You raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God.” Then came verse 10, “Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”
The sign of Jonah was death and resurrection. So Jesus was saying to these religious leaders that His death and resurrection would be the only sign of authenticity they would be given. Since they were not to be in that group that would actually see the resurrected Jesus, Jesus was telling them they would have to make a faith decision. Thus, the sign of Jesus’ Messiahship can only be received on the basis of faith. Jesus was calling for repentance and faith, and He pointed them toward prophecy and its fulfillment as at least part of the basis for a faith response.
Jesus was the only baby born to die. Thus, Christmas paved the way for Easter.
Lord, Your thoughts are so far beyond ours. You planned Christmas and Easter before the foundations of the earth we laid. And now You have called us to walk with You on the road You paved for us. So we thank You. Amen.