From Jonah to Jesus

Author: Naomi Zylstra — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: November 25, 2020

Read: Jonah 1-4
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
From Jonah to Jesus

When you think of the prophet Jonah, what comes to mind? Getting swallowed by a huge fish? Running from God? A certain movie with talking vegetables? What you might not know is how the story of Jonah points us toward Christ. Although Jonah is known for his reluctance to preach to the people in Nineveh, his story still shows God’s mercy and foreshadows the Messiah (or Savior) to come. First, both Jesus and Jonah sacrificed themselves to save others. Jonah chose to be thrown off a ship in the midst of a storm to save the other sailors— because his sin had caused the storm. Jesus—who is fully God, fully human, and without sin—chose to sacrifice Himself on the cross to save us sinners (Romans 5:8; Hebrews 4:15). Second, both Jonah and Jesus also found themselves in the depths for three days. For Jonah, this meant being in the belly of a big fish. Jesus spent three days in the tomb after His death on the cross. Then, both returned from the depths after three days. Jonah was vomited by the fish onto shore, and he went on to (reluctantly) share God’s message of repentance with the people, which ultimately led to their salvation from sin and death. Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death forever for all who put their trust in Him. These similarities and connections are no accident, and they are just the beginning of the gospel pointers in the book of Jonah. The whole book intentionally points toward Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Jesus is better than Jonah, who was a reluctant prophet who did not have much love for the people he preached to. Jesus willingly came and dwelled among us, sacrificing Himself on the cross so that we might be saved from sin and dwell forever with Him. • Naomi Zylstra • Did anything about today’s piece surprise you? If so, what? • While reading the book of Jonah, did you notice any other connections between the story of Jonah and the story of Jesus? • To learn more about the good news of Jesus, check out our “Know Jesus” page. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man [Jesus] will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40 (NIV)

Read Verses:

Jonah 1-4