When I was growing up, the only thing I remember learning from the book of Jonah was “Don’t be like Jonah! If God calls you to something, do it the first time!” (Indeed, Jonah was disobedient and whiny even in the end! There are better role models in the Bible.) So I was quite surprised when I was reading the New Testament and saw that Jesus mentioned Jonah. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Of course the sailors who threw Jonah into the sea didn’t want to hurt him. Since they didn’t know the end of the story, they were probably certain that he wouldn’t make it out of the storm alive. So how sad that must have been for them to say farewell and throw Jonah in the water! However, when they cast his body under, the storm of God’s anger ceased and there was peace. But three days later he came out victorious! Does this sound familiar at all?
In Matthew 12:38-41, Jesus said “For just 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.” Jesus was buried. He actually died. But on the third day, death spit Him out and He rose victorious! Yesterday we read about how important the death of Jesus is for us. The resurrection of Jesus shows us that the death of Jesus worked. The Father approved of His Son’s payment for sin and forgiveness is now available for all who believe in Him. Unlike Jonah, Jesus is not just a messenger or prophet but the actual Word of God. He is God Himself. He does not show us the way to forgiveness and eternal life; He is the way.
Praise Jesus for taking our sins so the storm of God’s wrath for us can be calmed. And praise Jesus for rising again so we too can have new life!
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a rad guy, and raising three little people ages 1,3, and 5...and I'm now expecting my fourth. I like chartreuse, calligraphy, Coke Icees, childbirth, crocs, Studio C, and...alliteration.
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Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today