This article has been curated from "Jesus the Pattern Son" by Bill Britton, examining the Life of Christ in His humanity here on earth as a divine pattern for the perfect endtime body of Christ.
THE GREATEST SIGN AND WONDER
In our time, as in the New Testament Church, God is showing forth His power and making known His presence by many signs and wonders. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that this glorious gospel “at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according his own will”(Heb. 2: 3b-4). Mark 16: 17 says, “…signs shall follow them that believe.” Notice that it does not say that believers follow after signs; too much of this is being done today. Our first job is to preach the gospel in the power of God’s Spirit and let the signs follow according to His will. Verse 20 says that the early believers went everywhere preaching the gospel, and the Lord worked with them, “confirming the word with signs following.” There is nothing in this to be ashamed of or to hide, as some so-called “preachers”try to make us believe.
Signs are given to be seen and heard about.
Daniel 4: 2-3 says, “I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are His signs! and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.” But I would not speak of the many signs and wonders that God is giving forth in this hour, and there are many.
But a greater sign than all these has been given and it is this marvelous and glorious wonder, God’s greatest sign, that I wish to address in this book.
Jesus is God’s greatest sign!
THE GREATEST SIGN IS A SON
In Isaiah 7: 14 the prophet cried out, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ”Now I want to show you that the sign was not the virgin who brought forth. It was not the swaddling clothes He was wrapped in, nor was it His miraculous birth itself. Rather, the promised sign was the One who was born and brought into the world in such a manner. He was and still is God’s greatest sign.
A sign always points to something, and the life of this man Jesus—His birth, death, and resurrection—points unerringly to that great thing which God is doing in the earth. God’s eternal purpose is revealed in Christ Jesus! Read Matthew 1: 18-23 and you will see plainly that the sign was not fulfilled when Jesus was born. It was given at that time, but not fulfilled at that time. Isaiah 7: 14 promised that God would give them a sign, and God gave them this sign when He gave them Jesus in Bethlehem’s manger.
A sign is not fulfilled when it is given. It is fulfilled when that to which it points comes to pass.
That baby lying in Mary’s arms is the greatest sign God ever gave to the earth, and it shall not fail. That to which it points shall most surely come to pass. Glory to His mighty name! The angels spoke to the shepherds in the field on that glorious night, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger”(Lk. 2: 10b-12). Jesus is God’s greatest sign!
Later in the same chapter we find Simeon, that old prophet of God, coming by the Spirit into the temple, where he sees Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. Here we find hands being laid on Jesus and prophecy going forth over Him at the tender age of six weeks, for Simeon took Him up in his arms and began to prophesy. Hear, my friends, what the Spirit said about Him: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against”(Lk. 2: 34b). Yes, beloved, this child is for a sign.
See what He says about Himself in Luke 11: 29-30: “This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of Man be (a sign) to this generation.”The prophet Jonah was a sign pointing to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This sign was given to the Ninevites when Jonah came forth alive after three days in the belly of the great fish. The sign of Jonah was fulfilled when Jesus came forth from the tomb. Jonah’s sign pointed unerringly to the truth; it did not fail. And now a greater sign than Jonah is given.
A SIGN POINTS TO A FULFILLMENT
Let us hear Christ speak once again through the mouth of the prophet: “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders…”(Is. 8: 18a). We discover in Hebrews 2: 13 that the One who spoke these words was actually our Lord Jesus. What He is saying is that He is for a sign, and so are the children (sons) that God has given Him, those who are to be conformed to His image; the body of Christ, the Overcomer. Hallelujah! Thank God for His eternal plan and purpose!
Now our minds begin to wonder: if Jesus is the sign, and the Scriptures most plainly show that He is, then who or what is the fulfillment of that sign? Our precious Lord does not leave us in doubt, for the Bible very plainly reveals this great mystery. This is the glorious mystery that was revealed to Paul the apostle, which he calls “my gospel.”For it was Paul who saw the wonderful truth of the body of Christ, the “perfect man,”the sons of God, the many-membered man that God was making after His own image. But this is not gender-specific. God’s “man” is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free; “he” is made up of many members of both genders and every ethnicity, and we are all one in Him. If you are called into this high calling of God in Christ Jesus, chosen of God to be made in His image, and faithful through the fiery test, then you are a member of the perfect man regardless of who you are.
Everything about the life of Jesus points to the body of Christ, of which He is the Head, as well as filling the whole body. He is the divine sign, and that which is coming forth to rule and reign with Him in God’s eternity must follow that sign and fulfill it to the letter.
Yes, the mystery of the body of Christ is hidden to them that are lost. Nevertheless, it is in the Word of God , and is now being made manifest to His saints; those “to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1: 27).