Luke 11 v 30. “For Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.”
In what sense was Jonah a sign to the Ninevites? It would be good at this point read the story of Jonah again, to refresh your mind. It will only take a few minutes.
In the parallel account of these verses in Matthew 12 vs 38-40, Matthew points out the parallel between Jonah’s “burial” in the whale and his miraculous rescue, and Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
It was not the mere preaching of Jonah to the wicked Ninevites that was a sign but rather it was the miraculous way in which Jonah arrived at Nineveh that gave force to his preaching and made him a sign to the city.
In the same way Christ’s death, burial and resurrection would make him a sign to Israel.
But if this is true and Jesus saw His death, burial and resurrection as a parallel between himself and Jonah then v 29 of our chapter becomes not only a message of judgement but also a message of great mercy. God had one more sign to give his people. He would allow their unbelief to crucify His Son. He would then raise him from the dead and instead of bringing judgement upon them for their evil deed He would offer them pardon, reconciliation, salvation, redemption and escape from judgement – through the very name of the One they crucified.
If they could not see God’s love through that they would not see it in anything and Hell for them would be a destiny they chose for themselves.
Remember, dear friend, that unbelief is a spiritual blindness that leads eventually to eternal death.