The Sign of Jonah

A/N: This is not a poem in the usual sense, but an intertextual collage in the manner of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land". It highlights the typological connection between Jona and Jesus by juxtaposing selected passages of Scripture. Since Jesus himself mentioned Jonah's marginal experience as a type or prefiguration of his own, Jonah's prayer, which is here taken as a basis, gives us additional insight into Jesus' passion.

~ "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign. But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." (Matthew 12:40, 16:4) ~

"In my distress I called to the Lord." (Jonah 2:2a)

"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." (Mark 14:34)

"From the depths of the grave I cried for help." (Jonah 2:2b)

"Abba, Father! Everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me!" (Mark 14:36)

You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me." (Jonah 2:3a)

"Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinful men." (Mark 14:41b)

"All your waves and breakers swept over me." (Jonah 2:3b)

"Your judgments are like the great deep." (Psalm 36:7)
"Shall I not drink the cup my Father has given me?" (John 18:11)
"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows."
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities." (Isaiah 53: 4-5)

"Then I said, I have been cast out of your presence, banished from your sight." (Jonah 2:4a)

"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15: 34)

"Yet I will continue to look towards your holy temple." (Jonah 2:4b)

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; My soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1)
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, o God." (Psalm 42:1)
"Jesus said: 'I am thirsty.'" (John 19:28)

"The engulfing waters were at my throat, the abyss surrounded me, seaweed was wrapped around my head." (Jonah 2:5)

"Innumerable evils have compassed me about, iniquities have taken such hold on me that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me." (Psalm 40:13)
"And the Lord has laid on him the guilt of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)
"Yet he bore the sin of the many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12)

"To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth behind me barred me in forever." (Jonah 2:6a)

"He poured out his life unto death." (Isaiah 53:12)
"He was cut off from the land of the living, for the transgression of my people." (Isaiah 53:8)
"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." (Matthew 12:40)

"But you brought my life up from the pit, o Lord my God." (Jonah 2:6b)

"You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen!" (Mark 16:6)
"I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. I was dead, and behold, I am alive for ever and ever! And I possess the keys of death and the realm of the dead." (Revelation 1:18)

"When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple." (Jonah 2:7)

"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46)

"I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving." (Jonah 2:9a)

"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me. Then I said: Here I am, I have come."(Psalm 40:6-7)
"This is my body."
"Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God for it and broke it." (Mark 14:22)

"What I have vowed I will make good: Salvation comes from the Lord!" (Jonah 2:9b)

"I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David." (Isaiah 55:3)
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." (Luke 22:20)
"For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch." (Isaiah 62:1)
"The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this." (Isaiah 9:7)
"See, your Saviour comes!" (Isaiah 62:11)