An interesting Easter question: Good Thursday no?

Jonah and the whale/great fish. (

BEFORE I get going with this story, I have to explain that I am no theologian, but I do like to ask questions and try figure things out.

Like, how is it that Jesus was ‘in the earth’/dead for three days and three nights, but we have Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday?

That’s two nights and one day at best.

The most logical explanation is that Jesus was crucified at the time of the Passover (which is known), but that in that year there was also a special ‘high day’, as mentioned by the apostle John.

The interesting part for me is that at some stage, some of the Jewish leaders demanded a sign from Jesus, to prove He was the Son of God, as He had been saying.

Check it out in Matthew chapter 12 vs 39 and 40:

39 But He replied to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks a demands a sign; but no sign shall be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

40 For even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the seas monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Four chapters later, with the Sadduccees now joining the Pharisees and scribes, they bring up the same question.

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He replies by talking about the weather for a bit, then goes on to say that only a wicked and morally unfaithful generation seeks a sign.

Again, he brings Jonah into the conversation, repeating that only the sign of prophet Jonah will be given. Then He left and went away.

In Jonah chapter 1 vs 17 it says: “Now the Lord has prepared and appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

Three days, three nights. It’s pretty clear.

So, if the example of Jonah is mentioned as the only sign, then the assumption is that it refers to Jesus being crucified, buried, being dead for three days and three nights, and then being raised back to life.

That is the essence of the Easter story.

What’s interesting for me is that of all the sometimes-hard-to-believe stories in the Old Testament, Jesus goes for the most way out of the lot: Jonah and the Whale.

(However, the Bible never mentions whale, merely big or great fish.)

Jesus … crucified. (

So, in one swift sentence, he infuriates the Jewish leaders questioning His authority, as the same time confirming that Jonah was a real, historical person.

In the greater scheme of things, I’m not too sure how much difference it all makes.

The message though of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is of course massively important for Christians, for upon that hinges their faith.


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