Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17
For the sailors to live, Jonah had to sacrifice himself.
For Jonah to live God’s purpose he had to die to himself.
To be washed from his sin, Jonah had to be plunged forcefully in the waters.
To pass from death to life, Jonah was buried for three days.
For the Ninevehites to experience salvation, Jonah had to die, be buried, and be resurrected.
The word picture of salvation in Jonah is so striking that even Jesus could not help but draw attention to it:
[Jesus] answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.”
“For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.”
The further I get in the journey, the more convinced I am that once God truly calls a person, he or she cannot successfully run away forever. The story of Jonah is lived out again and again in the lives of those who are called according to His purpose, and for whom all things work together for good.