Jonah 2:6 – To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in for ever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God. (NIV)
Several weeks ago, I heard the news that my cousin had been in a terrible car accident. The paramedics had to use a device called the Jaws of Life in order to pull him out of the wreckage. My cousin was told by the paramedics that it was a miracle he survived. Ironically, that very same day, my family was attending the funeral of another cousin who had died from cancer.
As I thought about the Jaws of Life and its ability to save lives, the prophet Jonah came to mind. In His mercy, God rescued him from a watery grave, miraculously commissioning a large fish to swallow and deliver him again safely to shore. Jonah's experience is very significant to the New Testament. Jesus refers to His resurrection when He told the unbelieving Pharisees the only miracle He would show them was the "the sign of the prophet Jonah" (Matthew 12:39 NIV).
Jesus alone has the power over life and death. Job, another Old Testament saint, looked forward to his own resurrection when he expressed his faith in these words:
Job 19:25-27 – I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (NIV)
These inspiring verses of Scripture are recited at many funerals today to offer hope to the bereaved.
Like the Jaws of Life that protected my cousin from death or Jonah from drowning, Jesus Christ has the power to save lives. Whether it is the wreckage of a car accident or the threatening waters of this world's events, Jesus Christ has torn the bars away from the grave and has given us new life in His name. And we do not have to sink to the bottom before Jesus will lift us up. Eternal life is ours even while we live. Let us look now to our risen Saviour and allow Him to be Lord of each of our lives.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for the miracle of Your resurrection, and the power in You to transform lives. We look to You in the blessed hope of life everlasting. Amen.