Jonah’s story as “the man who ran away from God” is for everybody. Adults identify with Jonah, as we all can admit that we often hear God’s instruction yet rebel against him. Jonah discovered he could not outrun God, which teaches us to stop putting off what God through his word has told us to do.
But Jonah’s experience is more than a moral. The deeper truth is that Jesus compared himself to Jonah, saying “just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:40) So in Jonah’s experience, you see a picture of the gospel. Jesus said that, like Jonah, he must be buried. Jesus gave up his life and was buried in order to redeem our lives.
How do you receive redemption from your sins? How can you stop running away from God and face him? By confessing and repenting your sin and relying on Jesus. He is the only one who has never run from God. And if you believe Jesus died in your place and worship him as your Master, then Jesus’s death is your death (the death of your old life), and Jesus’s life is your new life.
The only hope we have for a new life—the only way we can ever face God and run toward him—is to consider ourselves as dead to sin, because Jesus died so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. And because death no longer has power over Jesus, we too can consider ourselves alive, truly alive to God.
Without Jesus, you will run from God’s demands. Because of Jesus, you can be forgiven and receive the grace to do what God has commanded you.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”