Matthew 12:38,39 – Pastor/Elder Matt Leko
Posted on January 6, 2023 by No comments
“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For 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.”
With this saying Jesus declared His future death, burial, and resurrection as the sign of His authenticity and authority.
That is, Jesus is telling those who are opposing Him that when you see or hear these things, you will know that all that I have said is true, from God, and therefore binding upon you and authoritative. And so, with one statement Jesus offers for His enemies to test Him. If this thing (the resurrection) doesn’t come to pass then the scribes and pharisees have done a service for their fellow Jews, protecting them from a false prophet, and that prophet should be put to death (Duet 18:20-22), however if this thing (Jesus’ death, three days buried, and resurrection) does come to pass, then the scribes and pharisees have rejected God’s prophet, and everything spoken through Him. In the words of duet 18:19 Those who will not hear the prophet that God raises up like Moses (that’s Jesus in Duet 18:15) “it will be required of him.” In plain terms those who reject the One raised up like Moses (Jesus) are deserving of death. When dealing with Jesus and His claims there is no middle ground, no point of neutrality. Either Jesus was speaking presumptuously for God and therefore Jesus was deserved of death, or Jesus was speaking the words of God (attested to by His resurrection) and anyone who rejects Him, or His words have actually rejected God’s word, authority, only way of salvation, and are in rebellion against the God of the universe and it will be “required of them.”
Jesus, we know did raise from the dead, not in just some spiritual way but bodily, physically, actually, in reality. And the “sign” of His bodily resurrection had over five hundred eyewitness many of which suffered and some of which died for their witness to it. The question isn’t therefore if Jesus was a true prophet. The question is what are you going to do with Jesus?
Almost always the resurrection of Jesus is held up in the positive, as a guarantee of eternal life (1cor 15) for those who place their trust in Jesus. That we have been justified before God through Christ’s vicarious atonement and resurrection. (Rom 4:25,5:6-10) And that is all true and at the very heart of the Gospel. But that message, that positive message alone about the resurrection is incomplete. Because the same resurrection that demonstrates Christs victory over sin and the deliverance from judgment also testifies of the future judgment of sinners by Jesus Himself. The reality of this truth, that Jesus is either your savior or your Judge applies to everyone, the resurrection testifying of it. Acts 17:30,31 “But now (God) commands all men everywhere to repent, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man that He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Jesus is the savior of not the Jews only, but of all the nations of the earth, and He is Judge not of the Jews only, but the righteous Judge of all the whole earth. Jesus is the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 (God in human flesh) that bore His people’s sins, and the Judge of all the earth that will do right. Let those truths about our Lord that He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, propel us soberly and gratefully in our own lives, knowing that time is short, and that day is drawing near when we will meet our Lord.
Your brother in Christ