Summary: Jonah’s experienced in the belly of the great fish foreshadows the pattern of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus, Jonah, and the Resurrection
1. Strange things can happen on Easter Sunday [relevantmagazine.com]:
2. One year, a bunch of friends and I decided to go to a sunrise service at a super fancy church. This church looks like a European cathedral and we were all dressed up for 5 a.m. singing around a huge fire outside and then going inside for service. Everyone had candles and the whole service is by candlelight before the sun rises.
I ended up in a row with two friends… Surrounded in darkness by people wearing fancy hats for Easter, I made it through about two songs before I heard an odd crackling and sizzling sound coming from my left.
The sound guy, who was positioned a few rows back, yelled “your hair is on fire!” I panicked and froze, couldn’t speak, and could only manage to hit my friend in the shoulder to notify him of the situation. He then proceeded to put the fire out by slapping my hair in his hands. My other friend was high pitched laughing uncontrollably and was useless.
3. Another experience: One time, my pastor lit a stuffed Easter bunny on fire on stage and began ranting that the world was taking over Easter just like it has every other holiday. We stopped going to that church.
4. The strangest thing that ever happened on an Easter Sunday, however, was when a crucified dead man rose from the dead! A second strange account did not necessarily happen around Easter, but it is the account of Jonah and the great fish.
Main Idea: Jonah’s experienced in the belly of the great fish foreshadows the pattern of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
I. Jonah Was as Good as DEAD, but Brought Back (Jonah 1-4 passim).
The book of Jonah teaches many lessons. One obvious one is that you can run from God, but you can’t hide from him.
Many of you know the story of Jonah, but some of you may not. (tell the story).
A. He did not OBEY God, so his being swallowed by a great fish was DISCIPLINE for his sin.
B. Jesus obeyed God, but His death was PUNISHMENT for the sins of others.
C. The imagery of being swallowed by the great fish dramatically pictures DEATH.
D. The imagery of Jonah residing in the fish for three days pictures BURIAL.
Different ways to count. Hebrew idiom.
Genesis 42:17-18, And he put them all together in custody for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:
1 Kings 20:29 And they encamped opposite one another seven days. Then on the seventh day the battle was joined…
Esther 4:16 with 5:1 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day…” On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, in front of the king's quarters…
I Samuel 30:11-13 They found an Egyptian … he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights… He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago.
E. The imagery of being VOMITED up by the fish pictures RESURRECTION.
II. Jesus Was TRULY Dead, Literally BURIED, and PHYSICALLY Resurrected (Matthew 12:38-40)
A. His Resurrection is the ULTIMATE sign.
When Jesus was tried, Herod was hoping He would perform a sign.
Paul wrote in I Cor. 1:22-24, , “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
B. No sign can PERMANENTLY convince those unwilling to believe.
In Luke 16, we find the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Lazarus is talking to Abraham: And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” (Luke 16:27-31).
C. Pagans who REPENT will judge those raised with God’s Word who do not.
III. Jesus is the greater Jonah, and His resurrection ACTUAL.