The book of Jonah gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the Old Testament (O.T).
Jonah is an account that reminds us that running from God is futile. In Hebrew, Jonah means ‘Dove’, which is symbolic of the Spirit of God.
Jonah in a sense prefigures Christ as tabulated below.
|Slept when troubled (1:6)||Slept when it stormed (Mark 4:38)|
|Fate determined by casting lots (1:7)||Jesus’ clothes determined by casting lots (John 19:23)|
|Pick me up and throw me into the sea and the storm will calm (1:12)||Jesus offered to die willingly – He humbled himself unto death (Philippians 2)|
|Men tried to row back (1:13)||Pilate tried to release Jesus (John 19:4)|
|Men cried do not hold us accountable (1:14)||Pilate states Jesus’ blood is not in my hands (Matthew 27:24)|
|Then they threw him over (1:15)||Pilate handed Jesus over (John 19:16)|
|Was thrown into the depths (sea, belly of a fish) – (1:15-17)||40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (grave). Matthew 12:38-42) – Jesus was in the grave because of GRACE.|
Jonah is one of the two books in the Bible (the other being Nahum) that ends with a question as recorded in Jonah 4:11 which reads And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand (120000) persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
2 Peter 3:9 gives the answer. No one must perish, and all must come to repentance (The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.)
In Jonah, Jesus is the one who went to the GRAVE because of His GRACE and who wants no one to perish.