Today’s reading provides us with just such a comparison. The old foreshadows the new, what is yet to come. There are many stories shared through the Bible where looking back since we have the benefit of the New Testament and the Old Testament, we are able to see how the old was pointing to Jesus just like the new does. Today’s reading compares Jesus and Jonah.
Jonah’s story … in the belly of a whale was three days
Jesus’ story … was laid in a tomb for three days
Both came back to the world of the living, conquering death and being able to testify God’s message that they had to the people. The challenge is, will it be received? Will lives be transformed by the power and the truth of God that they will turn back to God and follow after His ways? Will people receive the wisdom that is presented to them and be transformed or will they ignore it and face the consequences?
It’s amazing how if we don’t learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it. I have stories of where it took me more than once to get it straight. The first time I got a nudge to start looking for a new job and didn’t because I was too comfortable and all seemed good compared to the next time when I received the get out of the boat message and immediately took action having learned through the pain of my mistakes the first time. Another time I was being given the message to forgive but I could always find an excuse to not forgive and to allow the bitterness to build up and become toxic in me compared to the next time when I was treated wrong, lied to and about, my first response was to forgive and what a difference that made to the process. It was definitely healthier to me. If we don’t learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it. We don’t have to learn through our own pain and suffering either, we can learn from the experiences of others so that we don’t have to go through it ourselves. But it is all a choice that we have to make. Learn or Repeat! Choose wisely, when you don’t you put yourself into the position where you will deal with the pain and the consequences of your decisions. Choose wisely, so you don’t have to go through the process more than twice showing you learned from the first time. God’s Word has wisdom for this life. We can choose to learn from it or to deal with the consequences of trying to do it our own way.
Jonah’s story…We see the people of Nineveh receive the message and turn from their wicked ways and back to God.
Jesus’ story…We see how pre-resurrection that Jesus warns them about not listening to Him. Post resurrection there are still people who won’t listen or hear, however, there are many lives that have been transformed by the resurrection power of Jesus all around the world.
We all face choices. We all have to decide. It’s one of the pros and one of the cons of getting a freewill.
We can choose to receive the message and then allow the light of Jesus to shine through us or not.
We can choose to receive the hope of Jesus and share it with those around us who need it or not.
We can choose to fill ourselves with the light and love of Jesus so that it overflows or not.
So will you choose to shine? Will you choose to let you light be seen by the world around you? Will you choose to share the Good News? Will you be someone who helps share the hope that is within you so that others don’t have to try and learn it through the pain? Will you be someone who shares their stories so that other can learn through you rather than on their own? Just like people get the choice of what they will receive or accept, we have the choice of whether we will share and care enough to give!
Because as today’s reading speaks, when Jesus comes back it will be judgment time. As we see in Luke, Jesus warns that the people of Nineveh will stand and accuse as well as the queen of Sheba who received the wisdom of Solomon will stand and accuse for not have received the wisdom of Jesus. We see in 2 Thessalonians 1 …
3Our friends, we must thank God at all times for you. It is right for us to do so, because your faith is growing so much and the love each of you has for the others is becoming greater. 4That is why we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God. We boast about the way you continue to endure and believe through all the persecutions and sufferings you are experiencing. 5All of this proves that God’s judgment is just and as a result you will become worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6God will do what is right: he will bring suffering on those who make you suffer, 7and he will give relief to you who suffer and to us as well. He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, 8with a flaming fire, to punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might, 10when he comes on that Day to receive glory from all his people and honor from all who believe. You too will be among them, because you have believed the message that we told you. 11That is why we always pray for you. We ask our God to make you worthy of the life he has called you to live. May he fulfill by his power all your desire for goodness and complete your work of faith. 12In this way the name of our Lord Jesus will receive glory from you, and you from him, by the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So how will you choose to live today? How will you choose to share and care? How will you choose to dare? This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s live to our fullest potential. Let’s praise God for the victory that has already been won through the sacrifice of Jesus and the resurrection from the grave.
1Praise the Lord, my protector! He trains me for battle and prepares me for war. 2He is my protector and defender, my shelter and savior, in whom I trust for safety. He subdues the nations under me. 3Lord, what are mortals, that you notice them; mere mortals, that you pay attention to us? 4We are like a puff of wind; our days are like a passing shadow. 5O Lord, tear the sky open and come down; touch the mountains, and they will pour out smoke. 6Send flashes of lightning and scatter your enemies; shoot your arrows and send them running. 7Reach down from above, pull me out of the deep water, and rescue me; save me from the power of foreigners, 8who never tell the truth and lie even under oath. 9I will sing you a new song, O God; I will play the harp and sing to you. 10You give victory to kings and rescue your servant David. 11Save me from my cruel enemies; rescue me from the power of foreigners, who never tell the truth and lie even under oath. 12May our sons in their youth be like plants that grow up strong. May our daughters be like stately columns which adorn the corners of a palace. 13May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the sheep in our fields bear young by the tens of thousands. 14May our cattle reproduce plentifully without miscarriage or loss. May there be no cries of distress in our streets. 15Happy is the nation of whom this is true; happy are the people whose God is the Lord! –from Psalm 144