Peter Denby, Jr.
Jonah was told by the Lord to go to Nineveh
Jonah set off for Tarshish and Joppa;
The Lord used a great fish to divert him;
The mariners were innocent - Jonah was not;
Jonah 1:1-17   Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
The Israelites were following the heathens and NOT God
They were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works;
they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils;
shed innocent blood;
even the [innocent] blood of their sons and of their daughters;
the land was polluted with [innocent] blood;
Psalms 106:34-40 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
The Israelites were following the priests and NOT God
They have asked for Barabbas and they all said to Pilate, Let him be crucified.;
Pilate washed his hands of the innocent blood;
His [innocent] blood be on us, and on our children;
Matthew 28:18-26  Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Innocent blood is the blood of somebody who is innocent. This can be physically and/or spiritually.
In Jonah’s case to throw him overboard was to follow God’s will and thus was innocent by reason of God’s will.
Jonah and the Israelites deserved their punishment. They were not innocent, they were guilty. God had moved against them.
The mariners (as mentioned above) and Jesus were innocent.
Being guilty of innocent blood is to have committed murder!
By your own hands;
Having ordered it;
By perjury at a trial;
Jesus’ innocent blood is what saves us. It is what the Jews at Jerusalem needed more than anything but they were saying that killing Jesus would be a righteous killing.
Even the judge, Pilate, said  What evil hath he done? He was saying, Jesus is innocent.
But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. They were overriding the decision of the judge. That is murder.
If Jesus blood is not upon you, then you need to be washing in His blood right away.
2 Peter 3:9          The  Lord  is  not  slack  concerning  his  promise,  as  some  men  count  slackness;  but  is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 
God is saying He wants me, the messed up person I was, and everybody else to get up and repent. HELLO…… That means YOU! No excuses! No procrastination! That means YOU!
God did His part - 
John 3:16           For God so loved the world,  that he gave his only begotten Son,  that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,  but have everlasting life 
Jesus did His Part - 
Acts 2:23-24         Him,  being  delivered  by  the  determinate  counsel  and  foreknowledge  of  God,  ye  have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 
Now YOU must believe;
Now YOU must have faith;
Now YOU must confess your faith;
Now YOU must get up and repent;
Now YOU must be baptized (like Paul was told to do) - 
Acts 22:16           And now why tarriest thou?  arise,  and be baptized,  and wash away thy sins,  calling on the name of the Lord.