Jonah #3 – How Jonah is Like Jesus:
“Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”–for the sea was growing more tempestuous. And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:11-17).
So far, we have followed the story the prophet Jonah, a man called by God to preach His message to the people of Nineveh. Instead of being obedient to the heavenly calling, Jonah ran in the other direction, hoping to flee from the presence of the Lord. Boarding a boat in Joppa, Jonah and the sailors on the ship were soon overcome by a violent storm that threatened to destroy the lives of everyone on board. The sailors cast lots to try to discover who had brought such trouble upon the ship, and sure enough, the lot fell to Jonah. At this point, the sailors asked Jonah, “What can we do so the storm will stop?” Jonah said, “Throw me into the sea, and the sea will be calm.” After they finally threw him into the sea, the storm stopped.
In our story today, let us consider how Jonah is like a type of Jesus Christ. There are many characters and events in the Old Testament that foreshadow what Jesus was going to be like in the New Testament. An example of this is found in John 3:14 where Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Here Jesus is saying that just like the serpent that Moses lifted on a pole in the wilderness that healed anyone who looked on it, in the same way, as Jesus was lifted up on the Cross, anyone who looks to Him will be saved from their sins. Let me explain the type…
The boat that Jonah was on is like the world, and all of the sailors like the sinful men and women in our world. Because of the storm, all of the men on the boat were in danger of losing their lives. However, because Jonah was willing to give up his life, (he said, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you.”), all of the other sailors lives were spared. In the same way, the Bible says that “But we see Jesus…for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). John 11:50 talks about how “one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” On the boat called Planet Earth, all men and women are in danger of losing their lives to the wrath of God, but because Jesus was willing to be thrown into the sea of God’s wrath, our lives can be spared.
There is an obvious difference between the type (Jonah) and the thing typified (Jesus) which should be mentioned here. Jonah was a guilty sinner, and when he was thrown into the sea, the lives of the innocent men on the boat were spared. However, Jesus was completely innocent and spotless, who bore the wrath of God upon Himself, so that we as guilty men and women can be saved. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus Himself said, in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Pastor Chris Jordan