Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The Word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me" (Jonah 1:1-2).
The LORD told Jonah to go, and he said no. Actually, he never actually said, "No," but his actions were speaking loud and clear as he "ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish" (verse. 3).
God's prophet chosen to deliver God's Word to the people in Nineveh--a sinful and pagan people. A cousin of mine preferred to call this city "Sineveh."
But of course, Jonah couldn't run from God. Because God's Word had to be delivered.
A type is an Old Testament person, institution, or event, that foreshadows a future greater reality fulfilled in Christ. Jonah is a type of Christ, in that he foreshadows a future greater prophet called to deliver God's Word to a sinful people. Jonah foreshadows a greater prophet that wouldn't run away from his call, but would be faithful to His Father. Jonah's three-day stay in the belly of a great fish foreshadowed the three days that Christ would dwell in the tomb, during which time he announced his victory of sin, death, and the devil himself (1 Peter 3:18-19). And just as Jonah came out of the fish, Jesus came out of the tomb, alive, and victorious.
Indeed, Jesus is the greater prophet, who never fled from his eternal destiny. On the contrary, nothing would deter him, as Luke writes, "When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51).
And like the city of Nineveh, because of Jesus' ministry, we have had our sins taken from us and forgiven. Thanks be to God! Amen.