A Whale and Resurrection
By Ken and Jan Merop
“So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land,” so it says in Jonah 2:10, NKJV.
Phew! That would be an experience never to be forgotten. The vapors surrounding Jonah as he was expelled from the whale told a graphic story.
Imagine what it must have been like in the belly of the great fish that God had prepared to swallow Jonah? Think of all that the whale had eaten, the digestive juices at work, and the enclosed, suffocating cavity of this great fish. Then think about spending three days and three nights in there.
I wondered, why did God choose this particular avenue to get Jonah’s attention? Perhaps the second first verse in Jonah 1 gives us the answer.
“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”
The sins of the people were like a horrendous, sickening stench that he could stomach no longer. God called on Jonah as the instrument through whom he would work to take the truth of his word to Nineveh.
But Jonah didn’t want to go. So, he fled by boat to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Somehow in his desire to escape, he neglected to realize that he couldn’t hide from God.
When Jonah’s actions imperiled all on the boat, he told them to throw him overboard. And, it was then God rescued him in a most unlikely manner.
Just maybe God wanted Jonah to experience a stench that would resemble that which was afflicting his holy nostrils from Nineveh – to tangibly understand the foul rancidness of sin.
Though God couldn’t stand what was happening in Nineveh, his compassion was extended. And, on this Resurrection Day, we are reminded of these two characteristics of God. His holiness that cannot regard sin; and his compassionate love that provided the remedy.
Some of the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day wanted a sign. But, Jesus – tired of the stench of their unbelief – said the only sign would be that of the prophet Jonah and his three-day/three-night entombment in the big fish. So, it would be for Jesus in the earth.
On that glorious resurrection day – out of the grave from which he had taken the sins of the world – he came ready to extend forgiveness adorned in compassionate love to all who would believe.
Jonah was given new life from his smelly tomb at God’s command to the fish. Jesus Christ went into the grave clothed in mankind’s putrid sin. He came forth like a new blossom in his resurrection body – the only perfect sacrifice to satisfy God’s holiness and love. Selah
Spring has sprung!
Bursting forth in glorious blooms and
punctuating the landscape with color and texture,
life is awakened.
The springtime of the soul is not unlike it.
Faith and hope no longer sleep, emerging vibrant, alive!
“Awake my soul!… I will praise you, O Lord…
For great is your love.”
Psalm 57: 8a, 9a, 10a
Ken and Jan love residing in the mountains of Avery County. Visit Jan’s new blog @pauseandconsider.net, Journeying with Jan. Ken’s photos can be seen at kenmeropphotography.com.
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