The After Christmas Sign

Luke 11:29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The difference between the first Christmas and now is that now it’s “over.” The holiday becomes a distant memory as the days go by.  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Now they’re over and we go on. Many get in a hurry to take down their trees and get to the half-off sales. I saw people taking down outside decorations Christmas Day. But the first Christmas began and has never ended.

All the signs that were given by the prophets were fulfilled when Jesus came. The Bible tells us that a virgin would conceive and bear a son. He would be born in a stable and laid in a manger. After all the signs fulfilled their purpose, they were set aside. One remained. Thirty years later, the people were gathered; it was a big crowd. Jesus said the people sought a sign.  Well, we do too. We see the times of wickedness. Never before has our nation been in the shape it’s in now. During the Civil War the nation was split. It is now. Political issues are there, but the issue of sin is greater. There is no political redemption. There is no peace outside of Jesus Christ. Ideologies are at the point of ridiculous. We look around and ask how all this wickedness is going to end.

If we’re not careful, we will get materialistic and lose our first love. We need to be on guard. Yet we ask for more. We want a sign. That’s what Jesus was saying. People are seeking a sign; the devil gives all kinds of false ones.  The prophecies of the birth were fulfilled, but never think it’s over. The sign continues. When we seek a sign for the “whatever’s” in our life, there is no other sign than that of the prophet Jonah. As wicked as Nineveh was, the gospel was still preached. Today it is being preached to people that have never heard it before, all because of modern technology. It’s wicked, but the gospel goes out. Jonah preached and the truth changed them. From the king down to the lowest animal, they put on sackcloth. The people repented and God spared the city. It was just the beginning. The sign shines on.

Jesus was now 30 years old. In his human mind he didn’t remember the manger or the shepherds. I don’t remember being born. None of us do. The manger, the star, the shepherds weren’t remembered. The star was not in the sky. The manger was probably not even around, but the one who laid in it was. The star wasn’t needed because the King of Kings was here, the light of the world. The only sign to see was that Jonah preached to the wicked and they were changed. There is no other change for anyone than being born again by the Spirit of God. Jonah was in the fish’s belly for three days and nights and Jesus was in the earth. The truth of God endures. Through this truth we can make it. The difference is the sign of Jonah and the others is that they are gone–empty. Jesus would do the same as Jonah in the earth. The whale spit Jonah out; he preached and people were saved. Jesus died on the cross in our place. He was buried in the earth. Just as the fish spit out Jonah, death and hell and the grave couldn’t hold Jesus in. They had to let him go. He arose. The cross is empty. We don’t have to die for our sins. He suffered one time. The cross has faded into dust. The tomb is empty. The stone is still rolled away. Jesus is alive and well!  Jesus brought truth, life and salvation to this world. The devil can’t destroy it.

Christmas may be over, but remember it was really just the beginning. As long as Jesus lives and reigns we have someone to talk to. When the world grows dim in our life, we won’t have to worry about the flames of hell.  Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  What more could we ask for? The sign is enduring. Jesus didn’t and won’t die again. The sign has been given. It’s all we’ll ever need, the sign of Jesus Christ and eternal life in him.

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