The Sign Of Jonah

What Is The Sign Of Jonah?
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. Matt. 12:38-40 (Jonah's 3 days/3 nights in the belly of the fish was a sign. It pictured and prophesied of the 3 days/3 nights that the Messiah would be dead and buried in the earth.)

One of the keys to understanding how to reckon the 3 days and 3 nights that Christ was in the tomb is to understand that a biblical day begins at sunrise. Please review the page When Does A Day Begin? before reading this page, as it is vital to understanding how the 3 days/3 nights count works.

Further Clues From The Gospels
Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Matt. 27:63

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. Mark 8:31

For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. Mark 9:31

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his bodyWhen therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. John 2:19-22

Established Facts
1) A biblical day begins at sunrise.
2) Christ died on Passover, the 14th day of the month.
3) The high day Sabbath followed Passover, on the 15th day of the month.
4) The wave sheaf offering follows the high day Sabbath, on the 16th day of the month.
5) The wave sheaf occurs on the 1st day of the week. We know this because the wave sheaf pictures Christ's resurrection, which occurred on the 1st day of the week.

14th = Christ died and was buried.
15th = He was in the grave the whole day.
16th = He rose from the dead.

Question: How do you harmonize the sign of Jonah, that Christ was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights, with the above facts?

DAY 1 - Christ was buried on Passover, before sunset, on the 14th.
NIGHT 1 - The night of the Passover, still the 14th.

DAY 2 - The Sabbath high day on the 15th.
NIGHT 2 - The night after the Sabbath high day, still on the 15th.

DAY 3 - Firstfruits, 1st day of the week, on the 16th
NIGHT 3 - Resurrection, during the night, on the 16th, at the END of the 1st day of the week, before sunrise.

When Did Jesus Rise?
It is traditional thought that a biblical day ends as the sun finishes setting on the horizon. But is this true? No it is not. Please reference the When Does A Day Begin? page to understand a biblical day begins at sunrise, as the first beam of sun shines over the horizon and casts a shadow on the ground or sundial. Once the sun casts a shadow on the sundial, this is how the hours of the day is determined. Hours were not 60 minute increments as they are today. Although hours were approximately 60 minute increments, the hour of the day was determined by the shadow on the sundial. This is how Jesus was able to say that the day was 12 hours, and it doesn't matter what season they are in. So in turn, the day ends right up until that moment when the first beam of sun casts a shadow. So the last part of the day is called dawn. The picture above, assuming the sun is about to rise, is showing dawn. The sun is not up yet. A shadow has yet to be cast and a beam of light has yet to reach above the horizon. Dawn is also called the 4th watch of night. While the day is separated by 12 hour time segments on the sundial, the night is separated by 4 night watches. So why is it important to understand when a day ends you ask? It is important because when the women found Christ's tomb empty, it was still dark. The sun was about to rise, but it had not yet risen. This aids us in knowing which day Christ rose and formulates an important puzzle piece to the 3 days and 3 nights of the sign of Jonah. Let's look closely at the 4 gospel accounts and see if they all say the same thing...

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early(proi), when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. John 20:1
1)It was the 1st day of the week
2)The word "early" comes from "proi." It literally means at dawn; by implication, the daybreak watch; 1. Proi is the fourth watch of the night.
3)It is still dark.
Conclusion: The women came to the tomb at the END of the 1st day of the week, not the beginning as traditionally taught. The fact that it was still dark and was still at night, means that sunrise had not yet occurred. If sunrise is about to occur, then that means the next calendar date is approaching.

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning(proi) the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. Mark 16:1-2
1)The Sabbath was past.
2)It was the 1st day of the week when they came to the tomb.
3)"Early in the morning" comes from "proi" once again. This tells us it is still night and is still dark. It is "dawn" or the 4th watch of night.
4)Yes the sun was beginning to rise, but the shadow had not yet been cast on the sundial. The sun has not yet surpassed the horizon. 
The women came to the tomb at the END of the 1st day of the week, not the beginning as traditionally taught. The fact that it was still dark and was still at night, means that sunrise had not yet occurred. If sunrise is about to occur, then that means the next calendar date is approaching.

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Luke 24:1-3
1)It was the 1st day of the week
2)"Early in the morning" comes from "orthros" which literally means dawn, or daybreak.
Conclusion: The women came to the tomb at the END of the 1st day of the week, not the beginning as traditionally taught.

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. Matt. 28:1
1)"In the end" comes from "opse" which should be translated "after."
2)"As it began to dawn" means the 4th watch of night. The light is beginning to grow, but the sunrise has not yet occurred.
3)"Toward" comes from "eis" and should specify "toward the end of the first day of the week.
4)So the original text should actually read as follows: "After the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the end of the first day of the week."
Conclusion: The women came to the tomb at the END of the 1st day of the week, not the beginning as traditionally taught.

The Traditional Good Friday Crucifixion And Sunday Resurrection Theory
This theory clearly goes against scripture and is easy for anyone to see. No matter how you slice it, there can NEVER be 3 nights in this theory, only 2 nights at the most. Obviously this theory is the one that is pushed by the Pope in Rome and glorifies their Sunday worship.

The Wednesday Crucifixion And Saturday Resurrection Theory
This was formerly a very compelling argument for me when I formerly believed in the Saturday Sabbath. But there are flaws in this theory that prevent it from being true.

1) I've proven that the Sabbath is reckoned by the moon. You must believe in the continuous weekly cycle and the Saturday Sabbath to believe this theory.

2) This theory rejects the definition of what a high day Sabbath truly is. A high day Sabbath occurs when the weekly and annual Sabbath falls on the same day. This theory says that Thursday was the annual high day Sabbath of unleavened bread, while Saturday was the weekly Sabbath. So this theory incorrectly defines a high day Sabbath as only particular annual holy days. 

3) This theory requires the use of the crescent new moon for reckoning annual Sabbaths. Passover in 31 AD only falls on a Wednesday if you use the crescent new moon. I've shown that the correct reckoning of the new moon is by the dark phase conjunction which would make the Passover fall on a Tuesday in 31 AD.

4) As if that weren't enough, the following passage in Luke 24 completely eliminates this theory as valid. Notice...

And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Luke 24:20-24

Christ rose from the dead in the night. This account occurs during the daylight hours after Christ's resurrection, as the 2 men were traveling to Emmaus and met Jesus on the road. The women had been to the tomb and seen it empty while it was still dark, just before sunrise. Then notice that after the women had gone back to the group told them of the empty tomb. Then certain people from that group went to the tomb to verify. The sun has inevitably risen at this point. Then 2 men travel to Emmaus and meet Jesus on the road. This is when it is declared that it is the 3rd day since Christ's death. The Wednesday crucifixion and Saturday resurrection theory calls for a full 72 hour time period for Christ to be in the tomb(even though the scriptures do not say this). In this theory... 

- Christ's death occurs on Wednesday the 14th, at the end of the day, just before sunset
- Thursday would be the 15th (1st day since Christ's death)
- Friday would be the 16th (2nd day since Christ's death)
- The resurrection would be Saturday the 17th, at the end of the day, just before sunset(3rd day since Christ's death)
- Both Marys visit the tomb in the morning. The group verifies the empty tomb. The travel to Emmaus would then be Sunday the 18th. (4th day since Christ's death)

But wait, there is a huge problem here, this theory requires that the Luke 24 passage to claim that it was the 4th day since the crucifixion, not the 3rd day as the passage says. This theory claims that Christ rose late on Saturday, which requires the Luke 24 passage above to take place on Sunday which would be the 18th. Let's count the days since the crucifixion. Thursday is 1, Friday is 2, and Saturday is the 3rd day. How could the events in the Luke 24 passage above take place on this 3rd day while Christ is still in the tomb? This theory has no answer for this. It is impossible to harmonize this theory with this passage in Luke 24. Look at the outline above to see the correct timeline for these events. 

The Luke 24 passage also disproves the Saturday Sabbath and the lunar reckoning for the Sabbath once again is the only alternative to turn to in order to harmonize the scriptures. 


So hopefully now you see the errors of the two most commonly held viewpoints. The Good Friday/Sunday resurrection is just pure tradition and blindness on the part of God's people. The Wednesday crucifixion/Saturday Sabbath resurrection theory is a little more tricky. But Luke 24 shows the error of it as well as the other errors that I presented. The sign of Jonah can not be ignored. We must wrestle with the scriptures until all the puzzle pieces of scripture fit perfectly together. We must not let our traditions blind us. The sign of Jonah presents a lot of challenges, but don't shy away from the challenge because truth is on the other side. I know this can be a lot to take in for a 1st time reader. Reread this several times, pray about it, and let me know if there is anything I can be more clear about. Thank you for reading this if you have read this far.