Jonah a Type of Christ - A Sign of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus

Jonah: A Type of Christ and Sign of His Death, Burial, and Resurrection

Jonah is a type of Christ. Jesus taught that the Old Testament is about Him (Luke 24:27). Jonah serves as one of the clearest types and shadows of Christ. When Jesus was asked for a sign, He staked His death, burial, and resurrection on the prophet. Additionally, the storm the disciples experienced with Jesus in the boat parallels the storm Jonah experienced when the sailors threw him overboard. Having Jesus in the boat with the disciples didn’t stop the storm they experienced any more than a relationship with Jesus stops the storms we experience. Jonah died and calmed the storm so they might live, but only Jesus calms the storm of God’s wrath that’s against us so we might live eternally.

Family Worship Guide for Jonah a Type of Christ

  1. Day 1: Read Jonah 1 and discuss: In what parts of this chapter is Jesus foreshadowed? How about in the rest of the Old Testament? In other words, what other types and shadows of Christ come to mind, such as Abraham sacrificing Isaac, the manna, bronze serpent, etc.? How is Jesus revealed through these shadows?
  2. Day 2: Read James 1:2, Acts 14:22, 1 Thessalonians 3:3, 1 Peter 4:12, and John 16:33 and discuss: What do we tend to think we will avoid if we’re obedient? What are the dangers of this false belief? Why are so many Christians surprised by trials? Describe your most recent trial (or current one) and your initial reaction. Was it a surprise? How did/have you respond/ed?
  3. Day 3: Read Romans 12:15, 1 Corinthians 12:26, Proverbs 25:20, and Job 2:13: What is Proverbs 25:20 instructing us to do (and not do)? What did Job’s friends do right, and then do wrong? Think back to a time in your life when you “rejoiced” with someone suffering. What about a time you “wept” with someone suffering? How does Christ allow us to do both?
  4. Day 4: Read Mark 4:35-41 and discuss: Why did the disciples need to be rebuked? What had Jesus said would happen (that they should have remembered and counseled themselves with)? Think back to the last time you were experiencing a storm. Consider your words, actions, and reactions; what did they reveal about your faith and trust in God’s Word? What would you do differently now?
  5. Day 5: Read Matthew 12:39-40 and Jonah 2 and discuss: How is Jonah a “sign”? Is Jonah dead or alive? What words or phrases are used that lead you to think he is actually dead? What words and phrases describe his “burial”? What about his “resurrection”? Why does he sound dead when he’s alive? How is Jesus the true and greater Jonah?

Sermon Notes for Jonah a Type of Christ

Let me begin w/ a question…

Who is the Old Testament primarily about?

  • Not David
  • Not Abraham
  • Not Moses


  • Luke 24:27 Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets (this is a NT way of referring to the OT), [Jesus] expounded to them in all the Scriptures THE THINGS CONCERNING HIMSELF.
  • Luke 24:44 [Jesus] said, “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms CONCERNING ME.”
  • My personal favorite: Hebrews 10:7 Jesus said, “Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book IT IS WRITTEN OF ME.”

How is the OT about Jesus?

First, there are hundreds of prophecies of Him.

Second, there are dramatic types – or shadows – of Him…

  • Hebrews 10:1 [The Old Testament] was only A SHADOW of the good things to come not the realities themselves; the realities are found in Christ.
  • Colossians 2:16-17 A festival or a new moon or Sabbaths…are A SHADOW of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Shadows are a perfect way to describe the types of Christ in the OT, b/c:

  • Shadows give you an outline of what something looks like w/o completely revealing the object…like Christ wasn’t completely revealed in the OT.
  • When you see a shadow, you know there must be something casting it, or something behind it…and that’s Christ.
  • Finally, you never look at a shadow and think it’s the real thing:
    • You don’t see the shadow of a tree or car and think it’s a tree or car:
    • Shadows have no reality or substance themselves.
    • In the language of Hebrews 10:1 and Colossians 2:17 the reality and substance is found in Christ.

Let me give you an example of a shadow in the OT that looks forward to Christ…and I’d like to ask the children to help me w/ it…

Please make sure you have something to write with, and a piece of paper that will allow you to write one name.

I’m going to tell you about one of the most famous accounts in Scripture. Most of you are very familiar w/ it. Then I’m going to ask you a simple question at the end.

Everyone have a paper and something to write with?

A group of men set out on a boat. They left Jewish territory and headed for Gentile territory. While they were traveling, one of the men headed below to sleep. The ship encountered a huge storm that threatened to drown everyone on board. While the storm was taking place – almost unbelievably – the man who went below remained sleeping! The other men on board were terrified, so they woke him to get his help. Soon after that the storm was calmed and the lives of the men on board were spared! As a result they all expressed great fear of the Lord.

Now here’s the question: what is the name of the individual who was sleeping in the bottom of the ship?

  • Raise your hand if you wrote, “Jesus.”
  • Raise your hand if you wrote, “Jonah.”
  • Raise your hand if you wrote “Jonah and Jesus.” You cheated. I told you to write one name J.

See how Jonah is a type or shadow of Jesus?

Please open your Bibles to the Book of Jonah. Not easy to find. It’s toward the middle of the minor prophets: Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum.

Let’s begin w/ Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: Jesus and Jonah (part I) left Jewish territory for Gentile territory.

We’ll read the verses in Jonah, and I’ll read the corresponding verses in Mark’s Gospel.

Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

The corresponding verse in Mark’s Gospel…

Mark 4:35 On the same day, when evening had come, [Jesus] said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”

  • Jesus was in Capernaum and He headed to the Gadarenes. He left Jewish territory and headed to Gentile territory.
  • Jonah set out across the sea. He left Jewish territory and headed to Gentile territory.

The next part of Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: Jesus and Jonah (part II) experienced a terrible storm.

Jonah 1:4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.

The corresponding verse in Mark’s Gospel…

Mark 4:37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

In both accounts, the storms are throwing the ships around like little toys, and huge waves were crashing over the sides.

It was terrifying for all the men aboard…except for two of them. And this brings us to the next part of Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: Jesus and Jonah (part III) slept during the storm.

Jonah 1:5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, AND WAS FAST ASLEEP.

The corresponding verse in Mark’s Gospel…

Mark 4:38a But [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.

This is the other miracle in the account: Jonah and Jesus could both sleep during this storm!

The next part of Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: Jesus and Jonah (part IV) were woken by sailors.

Jonah 1:6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”

The corresponding verse in Mark’s Gospel…

Mark 4:38b They awoke [Jesus] and said, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

They said the same thing to Jesus and Jonah: “We’re going to die!”

The sailors in both accounts were experienced at sea. For them to be so afraid reveals how terrible this was.

The next part of Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: Jesus and Jonah (part V) calmed the storm.

We’re going to read a fairly large portion w/o stopping…

Jonah 1:7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?”

So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.

10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 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.

12 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.”

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14 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.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and (now notice this…) the sea ceased from its raging.

The corresponding verse in Mark’s Gospel…

Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Normally storms gradually come to an end over time, but in both accounts they were quickly, miraculously calmed.

The next part of Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: Jesus and Jonah (part VI) were with men who came to fear god.

Jonah 1:16 Then the men FEARED THE LORD EXCEEDINGLY, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.

The corresponding verse in Mark’s Gospel…

Mark 4:41 [The disciples] feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Here’s the question…

Do you see how this account w/ Jonah serves as a type – or shadow – or what was going to happen w/ Jesus and His disciples centuries later?

Now let’s talk about some application.

And this brings us to lesson 2…

Lesson 2: having Jesus in the boat doesn’t prevent the storms of life.

In Scripture, storms are pictures of the trials we experience. For example, in The Parable of the Two Builders, it says…

Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Like all of Jesus’ parables, this one used something physical to picture something spiritual. The storm that beat on the house pictures the storms – or trials – that beat on all of us.

If we build our lives on Christ – if He’s our foundation – like the house, we can be sure we’ll remain standing.

And here’s something important to notice…

We tend to think that if we’re obedient, we won’t experience storms, BUT:

  • The house that stood is the house that WAS obeying Jesus!
  • Similarly, in the account w/ the disciples, they experienced the storm BECAUSE they obeyed Jesus: He told them to cross the sea…and they did!
    • Having Jesus w/ them didn’t stop the storm.
    • He actually sent them INTO the storm!

What’s the lesson for us?

Having Jesus in the ship w/ us won’t stop the storms in our lives.

As the disciples were experiencing the storm, let me reread what they said…

Mark 4:38b They awoke [Jesus] and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

And this brings us to Lesson 3…

Lesson 3: the storms of life don’t mean Jesus doesn’t care.

They criticized Jesus!

When I was going over the message w/ Katie she said, “The disciples remind me of the way a wife would talk to her husband.

  • We’re going to die. Don’t you even care?
  • Pull over and get some gas!

I have to tell you…

When I read what the disciples said, it encourages me! Their words perfectly picture how we feel when we’re going through storms:

  • Why don’t you care, Lord?
  • How can you let this happen?
  • I thought you loved me?
  • ARE YOU SLEEPING…do you even see what’s going on w/ me?

But let me ask you this…

Did the fact that Jesus was sleeping mean He didn’t love His disciples?


Similarly, when we experience storms, it’s not a reflection of His love for us.

So here’s what was acceptable for the disciples, and what’s acceptable for us:

  • It was acceptable for the disciples to be afraid…and it’s acceptable for us to be afraid.
  • It was acceptable for them to ask the Lord for help…and it’s acceptable for us to ask the Lord for help.

But it wasn’t acceptable for them to rebuke Jesus…and it’s not acceptable for us to rebuke Jesus.

They were wrong in their assessment of Him, and we’re wrong when we make this assessment of the Lord.

In fact, let me ask you to think about something…

What did – and didn’t – wake up Jesus?

  • Did the terrible storm wake Him up?
  • Did the rocking of the boat wake Him up?
  • Did the waves crashing over the side wake Him up?
  • Mark 4:37 says water was filling the boat. DID THAT WAKE HIM UP?

Seems like Jesus can sleep through anything!

But what did wake Him up?

  • The voices of the disciples crying out to Him for help.
  • It’s comforting to know that our cries wake Jesus…even when a violent storm does not.

Let me ask you another question…

Since Jesus calmed this storm, does this mean He calms every storm that takes place?


The only way to understand this account – and really the only way to understand all Jesus’ miracles – is to understand a very important point…

Most of what Jesus did physically is a picture of what He wants to do for us spiritually. Let me say that one more time…

For example:

  • When Jesus healed blindness:
    • That’s not supposed to make us think He wants to heal every blind person.
    • But He wants to heal our spiritual blindness so we can spiritually see.
  • When Jesus healed deafness:
    • That’s not supposed to make us think He heals every deaf person.
    • But He wants to heal our spiritual deafness so we can understand spiritual truths.
  • When Jesus healed the paralytic:
    • That’s not supposed to make us think He heals every paralyzed person.
    • But He wants to heal our spiritual lameness so we can walk w/ God: Romans 6:4 just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.
  • When Jesus raised people from the dead:
    • That’s not supposed to make us think He’ll raise us the moment we die.
    • But He has victory over sin and death, and He wants to give us eternal life.

If you look at Jesus miracles this way, you’ll understand:

  • This isn’t about Him calming every physical storm.
  • It’s about Him calming the spiritual storms.

And this brings us to the next part of Lesson 4…

Lesson 4: Jesus calms the storms in our hearts.

Here’s what I would LOVE to be able to say to you…

“If you’re experiencing a storm, just call out to the Lord and He’ll calm it for you…just like He did for the disciples.”

The problem is, that’s not true! There are some storms – or trials – the Lord allows to rage throughout our entire lives:

  • The disease isn’t always cured
  • The broken relationship isn’t always fixed
  • The financial situation isn’t always improved

So here’s what you’re asking…

“Then what’s the application? What storm does the Lord calm?”

He calms the storms that rage…IN US:

  • The physical calm Jesus brought in the middle of that sea 2,000 years ago pictures the spiritual calm He can bring in the middle of the storms we face.
  • The rest He was able to give to those raging waves pictures the rest He’s able to give to the raging waves in our hearts.

Listen to this…

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose life is free from all storms and trials???

No, it says…

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

We can have peace going through storms if we trust Jesus, b/c we know He’s in the boat w/ us and He’s in control.

Philippians 4:7 the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t say peace that surpasses understanding…because our trials go away…or because the storm stops.

It says peace that surpasses understanding THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. He calms the storms in us when we seek Him.

Now let’s get back to Jonah. We read to verse 16. Take a look at verse 17

Jonah 1:17 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.

When you read these words you almost can’t help but think of Christ. The language is so strong it draws our minds to the NT where the same words are used of Jesus’ death and burial.

This is why Jonah isn’t just a type or shadow, he’s also a sign!

Matthew 12:39 [Jesus] said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 

Although there are lots of types and shadows of Christ, as far as I know, Jonah is the only sign…and one reason I think Jonah is the only sign is Jesus said no [other] sign will be given.

And this brings us to Lesson 5…

Lesson 5: Jonah is a sign because he (part I) “died” and was “buried” for three days and three nights.

I want you to appreciate the greatness of God’s Word – the true beauty of what you’re reading…

  • The Book of Jonah was written almost 800 years before Christ died and was buried for three days and three nights.
  • 8 centuries before Jesus was born God had this account w/ Jonah take place as a sign of what would later take place w/ His Son.

When Jonah 2 begins, Jonah is buried, and here’s what’s interesting when you read this chapter…

The burial language is so strong it sounds like Jonah is dead! But it’s this strong language that helps establish the typology between Jonah’s burial and Jesus’ burial.

Look at verse 2

Jonah 2:2 And he said:

“I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction,
And He answered me.

And You heard my voice.

We would expect Jonah to say, “Out of the belly of the FISH I cried.”

But it says he was in Sheol:

  • This doesn’t sound like he was in a fish.
  • This sounds like he was in the abode of the dead.

Look at Jonah 2:6…

Jonah 2:6a I went down to the moorings of the mountains;

The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;

We would expect Jonah to say the water closed behind him, but it says the earth:

  • This isn’t the language of burial in the ocean.
  • This is the language of burial in the earth.

And the next part of verse 6

6b Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord, my God.

The pit is a synonym for Sheol and Hades, and Jonah expected to be brought up – or raised – from the pit.

He looked forward to being resurrected…just like Jesus looked forward to being resurrected.

In Acts 2:27 Jesus said…

Acts 2:27 You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption

Now let me ask you this…

This was Jonah’s burial. Was he “resurrected”?

Look at verse 10…

Jonah 2:10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

And this brings us to the next part of Lesson 5…

Lesson 5: Jonah is a sign because he (part II) was resurrected on the third day.

Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights, which means he was resurrected on the third day. He came up out of the fish, just as Jesus came up out of the earth!

When Jesus said Jonah was a sign of His resurrection, His listeners’ minds would’ve went to Jonah being vomited out of the fish. They never would’ve looked at the account w/ Jonah the same again!

Let me tell you something interesting about this…

There are two verses in the NT that say the Old Testament prophesied Jesus’ resurrection would take place on the third day:

  • Luke 24:46 [Jesus] said, “IT IS WRITTEN (meaning it is prophesied in the OT)…the Christ [would] suffer and RISE FROM THE DEAD THE THIRD DAY.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:4 [Jesus] was buried, and He rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.

So Luke 24:46 and 1 Corinthians 15:4 say it was prophesied in the OT the Messiah would be raised from the dead on the third day.

Here’s the question…

Where did it prophesy this in the OT?

Here’s why you might not know…

Many of the prophecies in the OT have a verse in the NT identifying them as OT prophecies. For example:

  • Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14 that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
  • Matthew 2:6 quotes Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
  • John 13:18 quotes Psalms 41:9 that the Messiah would be betrayed by a close friend.

But if we didn’t have these NT verses we might not know that these OT prophecies were prophecies!

And when Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, there’s no NT verse quoting an OT verse, so we can’t say, “Okay, this verse prophesied of that happening.”

BUUUUT Jesus and Paul both said it WAS prophesied in the OT, so again, the question is, “Where???”

Through Jonah!

He’s the OT sign that prophesied Jesus would be resurrected on the third day!

At this point we’ve seen a lot of ways Jonah looks forward to Jesus, but there’s one more beautiful way I want to show you. Look back at Jonah 1:12

Jonah said, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you.”

Jonah was willing to die so these men could live.

This might be the only selfless act he committed, b/c if you think about the rest of the book, this is very uncharacteristic of him:

  • When you preach to people that God is going to judge them, they repent, but then you get angry b/c now they won’t be destroyed, you know there’s something wrong!
  • Jonah is the worst prophet in the OT b/c he did the opposite of what prophets should do.

But right here – in verse 12 – he looks very sacrificial and compassionate.

And here’s the question I have for you…

When he looks this way, who does He remind you of?

And this brings us to Lesson 6…

Lesson 6: (part I) Jonah laid down his life so others wouldn’t perish…

I know I’m getting short on time, but just let me pretend like I’m not.

Let me get you to notice two verses in Jonah 1

  • Jonah 1:6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, SO THAT WE MAY NOT PERISH.”
  • Jonah 1:14 Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, PLEASE DO NOT LET US PERISH for this man’s life (or this man’s sins)…”

They didn’t want to perish so they woke Jonah and he told them how they could avoid perishing.

Think for a moment about what he said…

  • You have no choice.
  • There is no other way for you to live.
  • If you want to live, then I must die!
  • But if I die, then you can be saved!

So they threw him overboard.

I know these sailors look pretty bad for throwing Jonah overboard, but please do me a favor…

Raise your hand if you also don’t want to perish!

Because of the great love of God, we don’t have to…

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him SHOULD NOT PERISH but have everlasting life.

But do you see the similarity w/ Jonah?

  • The only way we can avoid perishing is if Jesus perished.
  • The only way we can live is if He died.

Let me tell you one important point about shadows…

At some point, they always break down…they fall short:

  • Shadows never live up to the substance or reality that’s found in Christ.
  • If they did, they wouldn’t be shadows. They’d be the substance and reality.

Jesus is always true and greater than the shadows, and Jonah is no different. In Matthew 12:41 and Luke 11:32 Jesus said, “a greater than Jonah is here” referring to Himself.

So let me give you three ways Jesus is the true and greater Jonah…

First, why were the sailors’ lives in danger?

  • Because of Jonah’s sin. In verse 14 they said, “Please do not let us perish for this man’s sins!”
  • Jonah laid down his life, but only b/c he disobeyed God and these men were going to die as a result.

Why are OUR lives in danger?

  • Because of our OWN sin.
  • Jesus is the true and greater Jonah b/c He laid down His life for us – not b/c of His sin – but b/c of our sin.

To see the second way Jesus is the true and greater Jonah, let me ask you a question…

As compassionate as Jonah’s sacrifice was, what did it really save these men from?

Honestly, not much!

  • Their lives were saved from physical death…but only for a little while.
  • They didn’t die that day at sea, but they all died some time later.

Jesus is the true and greater Jonah b/c His sacrifice doesn’t just save us physically for some period of time, it saves us spiritually and eternally.

To see the third way Jesus is the true and greater Jonah, I need you to do something…

  • Picture the terrible storm that threatened to destroy the boats.
  • Think of all the wrath and fury as it raged against those sailors.

Now look at Jonah’s words in verse 12 one more time. He said, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; THEN THE SEA WILL BECOME CALM FOR YOU.”

He said:

  • “The fury against you will be calmed.”
  • “The rage will be gone.”
  • “All that wrath will be satisfied.”

Can you see the beautiful type?

This brings us to the last part of Lesson 6…

Lesson 6: (part I) Jonah laid down his life so others wouldn’t perish (part II) but only Jesus calms the storm of god’s wrath.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the Gospel.

Give me your attention…

Please make sure you understand this:

  • The fury of the storm that beat on the boat was terrible…but it pales in comparison to God’s fury that rages against us b/c of our sin.
  • The wrath of the storm that threatened to destroy the sailors…is nothing compared to the wrath of God that threatens us b/c of our sin.

But here’s what else you need to know:

  • Just like when Jonah was thrown into the sea, and his death calmed the wrath of that storm…
  • When Jesus is thrown into the sea of God’s wrath, His death calms the wrath that’s against us.

Earlier I talked about the peace that Jesus gives, and the true and greater peace is described in Romans 5

Romans 5:1 Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…9 Having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 

Listen to this quote from Charles Spurgeon…

“Brethren, I wish I had the words to describe the peace which comes to a human heart when we learn [that] Jesus is cast into the sea of divine wrath on our account. [Our] conscience accuses us no longer. Now [God’s] judgment decides for us instead of against us. [We] look back on past sins with sorrow for the sin itself, but with no fear of any penalty to come. It is a blessed thing for a man to know that heaven and earth may shake, but he cannot be punished for his sin.”

Let me close by asking you to look one more time at verse 12. It says…

“Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm FOR YOU.”

Jonah said these words to the sailors on the ship.

Jesus is the true and greater Jonah, and He says these words to us…

Pick Me up and throw Me into the sea [of God’s wrath]; then that sea will become calm FOR YOU.”

This account w/ Jonah has always only been a shadow of something else. The true and greater reality takes place whenever a sinner repents and turns to Jesus.

If you sit here today, and you’ve never repented of your sins and turned to Christ, then the sea of God’s wrath is still against you. Don’t leave here today w/o accepting Jesus’ invitation to be thrown into that sea on your behalf.

If you have any questions about anything I’ve shared this morning, or if there’s any way I can pray for you, I’ll be up front after service and I would consider it a privilege to be able to speak w/ you.

Let’s pray.

8 Responses

  1. Thanks for these noble teachings compering Prophet Jonah with Jesus the Christ (my personal Lord and Savior). This is a sound doctrine, thanks. SHALOM!!!- Rabbi Mukonambi Joseph

  2. Hi Scott, thanks for this study on Jonah being a Type of Christ. I agree that the Bible teaches that Jonah actually died in the belly of the fish and went to Shoel just as Jesus did however I heard recently a Baptist pastor teach that Jonah did not die. This statement troubles me as it does not represent a true type of Christ’s death and resurrection. I would be interested in your comments please. Thanks Ross.

    1. Hello Russ,
      Nice to hear from you.

      I don’t actually think that Jonah died in the belly of the fish. His language that makes it sound that way is common in Scripture, especially the Psalms. In other words, people talked about death, the grave, and she’ll when they did not die. I think this is another instance of figurative language being used that way.

      I understand what you are saying that this brings the type up short if Jonah did not die, but I have three thoughts on that idea. First, Isaac is probably one of the clearest types, not just of Christ, but of Christ’s death and resurrection. Hebrews 11:19 even says that Abraham received Isaac back from the dead in a figurative sense. Yet Isaac never died and was never raised from the dead.

      Second, every type must come up short in different ways. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be the type and shadow. Instead it would be the substance and reality itself.

      Third, aside from the language Jonah used, there is no indication in the account itself that he died and was resurrected. In other words, it says the fish vomited Jonah out on dry land, but it says nothing about him coming back to life.

      I’m interested in your further thoughts if you’d like to share.

  3. Hello and thank you for replying to me!
    Yes, I did plan on listening to that sermon, so thank you – I’m just into the one on our bodies wasting away! (That 2Cor passage is a real blessing to me!)
    I’m about to share the Jonah sermon now – I will relish sharing it wherever I can. Yay – God’s Word always has more delicious surprises in store!!!
    God bless!

  4. Just a quick thank you! I came across your Jonah sermon by chance ( I live in Australia) and just LOVED it! (I can’t even remember what I was looking for/at when I came across your article on Jonah). I listen to Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, R C Sproul, a lot.
    I love God’s Word very much, and have memorized many passages (to carry me through the suffering and death of two of my children). The Old Testament certainly features in this, as I especially cherish Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel…. (Amen to your point that it is far more frightening to think that our suffering is random and NOT under God’s control! But I find that Christians often play lip service to this truth, rather than really believe it. Child death has shown me this, as there are very few people I can talk with absolutely openly about how I see God in the illness and death, without offending them – ie “No way, a loving God wouldn’t want your child to die of cancer”…)
    Anyway, having just read and meditated upon Jonah recently, I was blown away by all the treasures I had missed!!! And that you have now handed me!
    I will listen to this again, and enjoy those new perspectives on Jesus and Jonah for a long time to come. I am often fascinated to ponder what Jesus said in that greatest-of-all Bible studies in Luke 24 – you have certainly added to my sense of what some of that was! So, many thanks indeed. And thank you for Loving God’s Word so manifestly!
    Thank you and God bless you!

    1. Morag,
      Thank you for the feedback on the sermon. Your words bless me.

      Seems like you are listening to some wonderful godly men.

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost two of your children. I will pray for you. Here’s a sermon on trials that I hope will encourage you.

      In Christ,

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