In the book of Matthew, the scribes and pharisees ask Jesus for a sign. The Savior replies that there won’t be a sign given, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Then he explains that Jonah was in the whale’s belly for 3 days and that Christ will be in the earth for 3 days. Clearly, Jonah’s experience was symbolic of Christ’s mission on earth and was a foreshadowing of his death and resurrection.

This infographic takes Christ’s suggestion and compares Jonah with the Son of God. Simply read the middle text along with the blue text. Then start at the top again, and read the middle text along with the brown text.

You can download the full size pdf here: The Sign of Jonah


Jonah and Christ

Christ’s comparison to Jonah is unusual. Especially when you consider that Jonah’s situation was exact opposite of Christ’s. But perhaps that is something that is suppose to stand out.

Consider this: Jonah’s suffering came as a result of disobedience. In contrast, Christ’s suffering came as a direct result of obedience. Jonah was guilty and Christ was innocent. Furthermore, after Jonah exercised his agency, the consequence of Jonah’s sin was unstoppable. He was unwillingly put in that situation. (His reason for sailing to Tarshish was not to get thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale.) Being in that whale, deep below the surface of the water was a symbol of physical and spiritual death. It was dark and bleak. Eventually, Jonah repented. In contrast, Christ willingly suffered. He overcame physical and spiritual death for all of us.

Jonah seems to be analogous of our lives and the potential to be saved by Christ. We choose wrong, end up in darkness below miles of ocean, and then the atonement of Christ brings us upwards again. The whale’s dark “belly of hell”, as Jonah calls it, is very similar to the way Alma the Younger describes his experience in the Book of Mormon. Again, it was 3 days… just like Jonah… just like Christ. For 3 days, Alma the Younger suffered the “pains of a damned soul” , was “racked with torment”, and was encircled about by the “everlasting chains of death.” (Alma 36:16-17)

The Take Away

We don’t need to suffer like Jonah. Christ has paid for our sins. We simply need to repent and strive to be righteous. Remember that we can always choose between right and wrong. But once we make our choice, we have no power to choose the consequence.

Avoid “spiritual whales” like alcohol, drugs, pornography, apathy, and anything else that drags you down into the depths of sin. Stay with God. Have Faith! Faith can make the impossible possible. Keep your head above water and reach for Christ. He just may pull you up and let you walk on the water instead.

You can download the full size pdf here: The Sign of Jonah

Note: “Whale” in the Bible

I have many people mention that Jonah may not have been swallowed by a whale, because the word “whale” is never mentioned in the Book of Jonah. (Which is true.) Something I discovered when creating this infographic, is that although the Book of Jonah doesn’t mention it, the Book of Matthew does. (refer to the bottom of the infographic)