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.
1. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly…”
a. whale [2785 * ketos][Thayer: a sea monster, whale, huge fish.][Zodhiates: Any large fish or sea creature. In Matthew 12:40, used for the fish which swallowed Jonah. In the book of Jonah, it is called dag gadol [1709 * dag 1709, fish; Strongs][1419 *gadol-large, great].
b. The text clearly says it was 3 full days and three full nights. These were not partial days or nights. This is critical in establishing when Jesus died. It is impossible for Jesus to die on Friday and be raised on Sunday if this is the case.
2. “…so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
a. Jesus was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Here is one chronological layout of the last six days that I think is more accurate. I can’t give the source because I didn’t write it down, but I have had it for probably over 20 years.
1). John 12:1 is six days before the Passover, our Friday. John 12:2 mentions supper, this is after 6 PM on Friday, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath.
2). John 12:12, the next day is our Sunday, and Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-10.
3). Mark 11:11 Sunday evening
4). Mark 11:12, tomorrow, Monday morning, Jesus curses the fig tree.
5). Mark 11:19 Monday evening.
6). Mark 11:20 in the morning on Tuesday morning, the fig tree withered.
7). Between Mark 11:20 and 14:1 there is no change of day, it is still Tuesday. During Tuesday evening, the beginning of the Jewish Wednesday, 14 of Nissan, the Last Supper takes place.
8). Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-32; John 18:1, after supper on Tuesday evening they go to Gethsemane.
9). The trials take place:
a). Before the Jews: John 12:12, 13, 19-24; Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54, 63-71.
b). Before Pilate & Herod: Luke 23:1-25; Matthew 27:1, 2, 11-31; Mark 15:1-20; John 18:28-19:16.
10). Mark 15:25, Jesus crucified at the third hour on Wednesday morning, 9 AM our time.
a). Jesus on the cross, Mark 15:24-38; Matthew 27:35-54; Luke 23:33-49; John 19:16-37.
b). Mark 15:33, from noon to 3 PM our time, there is darkness over the land, 6th to 9th hours for the Jews.
c). Mark 15:34-37, Jesus died about 3 PM Wednesday afternoon our time.
11). Jesus taken down from the cross between 4 and 6 PM, Wednesday our time, because the Passover Sabbath, the one indicated in Mark 15:42 began at 6 PM.
a). This Sabbath was not the weekly Sabbath but a Passover Sabbath to be kept according to Leviticus 23:5-7; Exodus 12:16 and Numbers 28:16-18.
12). Three days and three nights
a). 6 PM Wednesday evening---6 PM Thursday evening is one day.
b). 6 PM Thursday evening---6 PM Friday evening is two days.
c). 6 PM Friday evening---6 PM Saturday evening is three days.
b. One just like it is found on, http://www.gotquestions.org/three-days.html
1). “The Wednesday opinion states that there were two Sabbaths that week. After the first one (the one that occurred on the evening of the crucifixion [Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52-54]), the women purchased spices—note that they made their purchase after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1). The Wednesday view holds that this “Sabbath” was the Passover (see Leviticus 16:29-31, Leviticus 23:24-32, 39, where high holy days that are not necessarily the seventh day of the week are referred to as the Sabbath). The second Sabbath that week was the normal weekly Sabbath. Note that in Luke 23:56, the women who had purchased spices after the first Sabbath returned and prepared the spices, then “rested on the Sabbath” (Luke 23:56). The argument states that they could not purchase the spices after the Sabbath, yet prepare those spices before the Sabbath—unless there were two Sabbaths… Therefore, according to the Wednesday viewpoint, the only explanation that does not violate the biblical account of the women and the spices and holds to a literal understanding of Matthew 12:40, is that Christ was crucified on Wednesday. The Sabbath that was a high holy day (Passover) occurred on Thursday, the women purchased spices (after that) on Friday and returned and prepared the spices on the same day, they rested on Saturday which was the weekly Sabbath, then brought the spices to the tomb early Sunday. Jesus was buried near sundown on Wednesday, which began Thursday in the Jewish calendar. Using a Jewish calendar, you have Thursday night (night one), Thursday day (day one), Friday night (night two), Friday day (day two), Saturday night (night three), Saturday day (day three). We do not know exactly when He rose, but we do know that it was before sunrise on Sunday (John 20:1, Mary Magdalene came “while it was still dark”), so He could have risen as early as just after sunset Saturday evening, which began the first day of the week to the Jews.