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Jesus - 3 Days and 3 Nights?

Mtt ch 12 v 40 "for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth".

We particularly remember the death of Jesus on Good Friday. We meet again to celebrate His resurrection the following Sunday morning. Just two nights later! How can we relate the above verse in Matthew, to our Church calander, and our Easter Programme
Brother stephen,
Luke 11:29-30
And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The scribes and Pharisees reproved for seeking a sign.
Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and

then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again. The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting(Mat.12:41); the queen of Sheba, for not believing in Christ(Mat.12:42). And we have no such cares to hinder us, we come not to Christ upon such uncertainties. This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time,

but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ. (Mt 12:46-50)

Look at the whole chapter of Mat 12 up to verse 38 and you will see that this is where the Pharisees and scribes came out to "test" Jesus, and prove that he wasn't the Christ. They wanted to see signs and Jesus explains why they won't see but one sign...his resurection, and compares this with the story of Jonas and the whale. He also uses the story of Solomon and Sheba,(see 1kings 10:1-13 and 2 Chr9:1-12) but I don't think he is saying that the Pharisees will give him gold and spices. The key scriptures here are. 1Kings 10:7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. And 2Chron. 9:6 Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. He's showing thier doubt is just like that of Sheba's and the sign they seek will be like that of Jonas.

On a different note. The Hebrew word for "day" has 3 different meanings. Just keep that in mind. ;)

In love through Christ Jesus,
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