Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea . . . for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you (Jonah 1:12).
Though Jonah was willing to give his life (cast me forth) to save the sailors, it should be remembered that it was for his sake that the great tempest came in the first place. By way of contrast, the Lord Jesus gave His life to rescue the ungodly, and, unlike Jonah, faithfully preached repentance. He also willingly submitted to a far more grievous baptism (Luke 12:50). Jonah was punished for disobeying; the Lord Jesus was condemned for the sins of others.
Amittais son (Jonah 1:1) was described by sailors as innocent (v.14), but Gods Son really was! He was made to be sin . . . who knew no sin (II Corinthians 5:21). There are similarities between the two, however. Jonah did foreshadow Jesus in the miracle of his deliverance (Matthew 12:39,40) and also eventually preached repentance.
The God of the Old Testament also showed Himself to be the God of love. He demonstrated love for Nineveh, Israels enemy, which feebly anticipated His great display of love in sending His Son. Centuries later, one would die for many on a cross, and the Father would open His arms to the world. When the fullness of time came, He gave His only Son, not only to warn about judgment, but also to bear it Himself!
The disobedient prophet was heard in a time of distress (Jonah 2) and was delivered. The obedient ones prayers were also heard, and the Father raised Him from the dead. The one who granted deliverance to Nineveh eventually came to experience deliverance Himself.
People ask, Whats this world coming to? Judgment! Before its too late, children of disobedience should entrust themselves for deliverance to Jesus. He heard the repentance of Nineveh and forgave; He hears prayers today, and will forgive. The mission of saving sinners continues. PGH