Jonah is a type of Christ

Friends in the Lord, in 1891, a whaling ship was operating in the South Atlantic. Suddenly, they spotted a huge sperm whale off the port bow. A young man, James BartIey was in the first longboat to reach the whale. He was an apprentice and inexperienced. The longboats crept up to the whale from the rear, the harpooner leaned over and struck his spear into the whale. Bartley and the other oarsmen rowed frantically to get out of the way of the massive tail. The whale dove down, taking eight hundred feet of heavy line.
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Then an ominous slacking in the line signaled that it was going to surface. But where? The oarsmen readied themselves, and without warning there was a crash which sent the longboat spinning into the air. The whale thrashed about, snapping at the men with its huge jaws, and then dove down into the depths. Another boat picked up the survivors, but two men were missing – one of them the young apprentice, James Bartley.
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Later in the day, the dead whale floated to the surface. A line was fastened to it and brought alongside the ship. The hot weather made it imperative that the whale be cut up at once, so they took their flensing spades and peeled off the blubber as they slipped and slid along the immense back of the giant mammal.
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Late that night, working by lantern-light, the tired crewmen removed the stomach of the whale and brought it to the deck. They were startled to notice movement inside the large sack. It was cut open and out slid the missing sailor. By medical care, and a long recovery, he was eventually able to relate his terrifying experience. Bartley had been in the whale for over 15 hours. Today if you go to the cemetery where he is buried in Ireland, a note on his tombstone says: James Bartley, a modern-day Jonah.
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If Bartley did it, then we see that it is possible that Jonah also lived in that whale. Yet the story given in the scriptures is not given as a history lesson, but as a remarkable prophecy, an image, of the Messiah to come. Jesus himself explains it. He says: ‘This generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights, so will the Son of Man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.
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Jonah was a sign of the Messiah, but Our Lord himself IS the Messiah, and if even the people of Nineveh listened to Jonah and gave up their sins, all the more should we listen to Christ and change our lives.

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