The Sign of Jonah

Do you know the sign of Jonah? What was the sign of Jonah? What is so special about this sign? Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.”

So, the sign of Jonah is 3 days and 3 nights.

What is a day? Genesis 1:3-5 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

Days were counted from sunset to sunset. Sunset ended one day and began another.

Matthew 12:38-40 “One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.” 39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.”

Three days and three nights Jonah was in the belly of the great fish. Jesus said that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, and that this sign would be the only miraculous sign that would prove His authority.

Jesus was crucified on Passover as all the Passover lambs were being slaughtered.
Leviticus 23:5-7 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’ s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.”

John 19:13-15 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” So the next day was a high Sabbath – the first day of Unleavened Bread

John 19:31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day)”

A high Sabbath was one of God’s feast days. Lev 23:1-2 “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”

Then all the Feasts of the Lord were listed: the 7th Day Sabbath, Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread & Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, & Last Great Day.

Leviticus 23:4 “These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”

These days are referred to as the feasts of the Lord. Even Moses declared them as such. Leviticus 23:44 “So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.”

These are not Jewish feasts – these are God’s feasts. God calls these days His feasts that Moses was to proclaim to the children of Israel.

Unleavened Bread follows immediately after Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is one of God’s feast days – a high Sabbath – a high holy day.

The next day was the preparation day – women prepared spices to anoint Jesus’ body. We now call this day Friday. Jesus was already dead and buried.

Luke 23:54-56 “54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. 55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.”

The next day was the regular 7th day Sabbath, what we now call Saturday. They rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Exodus 20:8-11 8 “ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

The next day was the 1st day of the week, what we now call Sunday. Matthew 28:1-10 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door,[a] and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples,[b] behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Mark 16:1-6 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”

Luke 24:1-10 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” 8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.”

John 20:1- Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

In every instance Jesus had already been risen, This puts His resurrection sometime around sunset on the Sabbath. By the first day of the week, which started at sunset Saturday, He was already risen.

So let’s see where we are:

Tuesday evening -- Last supper, arrest Wed morning -- trial, conviction, crucifixion and death (preparation day)

Wed evening -- 1st night in grave (1st Day Unleavened Bread) Thursday morning -- 1st day Thursday evening -- 2nd night in grave – preparation day Friday morning -- 2nd day Friday evening -- 3rd night in grave – regular Sabbath Saturday morning -- 3rd day Saturday evening -- Jesus rose from the dead Sunday morning – already risen

Evening and morning, evening and morning, evening and morning – 3 mornings and 3 evenings – 3 days and 3 nights.

Genesis 1:5 “5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

If Jesus was in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights, there is no way that He was crucified on Friday afternoon. He would only have been in the grave for 1 ˝ days – proving He was not the Messiah. He had to be in the tomb for 3 full days and 3 full nights in order to fulfill His word.

All these accounts state that Jesus died on the preparation day before the Sabbath. If you didn’t know about the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread you would think that this would be Friday. Many Christians who are unaware of these special days, or who consider them Jewish days, think that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose from the dead on a Sunday. Since they haven’t been taught about the feasts of the Lord, and how days were kept from sunset to sunset, they don’t know about the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the part it played. So they don’t know that there were two Sabbaths that week – the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread and the regular Sabbath. That changes everything and fulfills the sign of Jonah. It also shows how very important it is to know about the Feasts of the Lord and when and why they are celebrated.

Jesus is our Messiah. He is our Savior. He told us the truth. The proof is what He said it would be – the sign of Jonah.

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