Let’s take our KJV Bible and turn to Matt 12:40: “For as Jonas [Jonah] was 3 days and 3 nights in the whale’s [KETOS, sea monster’s] belly; so shall the Son of man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.”
This is a remarkable record because very few believe in the history of the Book of Jonah, and that it was literally true. They speak of it as being a myth or a fable. But whenever the Lord Jesus Christ himself documents something, I just have no question about it at all.
Certainly here we have a documentation that Jonah was in the sea monster’s belly 3 days and 3 nights. That is not a figure; it is a literal truth. The “3 days and 3 nights” make it a period of 72 hours, and it relates itself to that period of time when Christ was in the earth “3 days and 3 nights;” factually o/a 4 pm Wednesday to o/a 4 pm Saturday— not Friday afternoon til Sunday morning.
Now let’s move down to Matt 16:4: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it but the sign of the prophet Jonas (Jonah).”
The sign of the Prophet Jonah, to the best of my understanding, was that here was a man of God who totally wanted to protect Israel, who was willing to give his life for Israel, even though God had said that Nineveh would become the judge of Israel because of Israel’s wickedness. The sign was the dedication of the man, the commitment of the man to Israel. The second record in the Gospels augments even the depth and importance of this man called Jonah and what he did and what he represented.
In Luke 11:30, it ties it together in a very in-depth yet remarkable and wonderful way: “For as Jonas (Jonah) was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.”
As Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so the Son of man, Jesus Christ, was a sign to his generation. Jesus was a sign of his commitment to his generation. Jesus put Jonah on the same level regarding the sign that he put himself. That puts Jonah in a very high category in God’s opinion, and in my opinion also.
Furthermore, Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights (which is a sign of completeness and fulfilment), in the sea monster. I do not believe that he lived in the fish; I think he died. After he got spewed out, on his way to where he did not want to go in the first place, God again gave him life. But he died again, and today Jonah is dead and unconscious, awaiting the resurrection, the same for any of mankind—Christian and non-Christian, saved and unsaved. Amen.
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