Did Jonah die and resurrect?
Jonah 2:2 -
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
When Jesus spoke about His death and resurrection He spoke to the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees with the example of Jonah in Gospels of Matthew and Luke. During the time of Jesus (and even today) Jews thought Jonah had died and gone to hell and came back to life on the third day in the belly of the fish. Did Jesus agree with their understanding to have used Jonah as an example?
There are 2 reasons why people do not have right understanding on this matter. Firstly they do not read the scripture minutely and secondly they do not have the right understanding of human life, death, resurrection, Hell and Heaven.
If one reads the scriptures where Jesus refers to this event of Jonah, Jesus did so saying it would be as 'a sign', referring it to be symbolic and not literal. In Matthew Jesus refers to this event of Jonah (Jonas) twice and both the times He refers to it as 'a sign'. Secondly and most important is in both the times Jesus refers to it (also in Luke) as a sign that is unto the wicked / evil generation only. It is only when we understand what human life (earthly and spirit) is then alone would one understand why Jesus said it to be a sign unto the wicked. One should note Heaven and Hell do not abide by solar days (Earth's revolution around the Sun - earthly 24 hour days) yet Jesus resurrected on the 3rd day. Did He spend 3 earthly days in Hell? Take note Peter says He preached unto the souls from the time of Noah. What happened to the souls before Noah why were they not there or not preached to?
We read in the Gospels the souls from Hell heard His voice and came up almost instantly on His death cry. His cry at death caused not an earthquake only on earth, even Hell and Grave shook by His cry, if all this happened instantly then why Jesus wait on the 3rd day to resurrect.
His resurrection again was a sign and this sign is to do with the coming again of Jesus. By His resurrection on the 3rd day (before the 3rd day was over) Jesus confirmed before the 3 days (period of time - before 3000 years) gets over He will come so as to save all those believing in Him. When we understand this we will understand, why Jesus said during His time that there were those present hearing Him who will not see death (2nd death) until His coming again.
Understand if one goes to Hell one cannot come out. Hell is a prison where a person having sin who has forsaken the Lord or whom the Lord forsake goes to. Jesus as man / son of man went there because He at time of death was forsaken by the Father since our sins covered Him and thus drank the cup of the Father's wrath. But He could not be kept there since no sin was in Him, thus He broke the curse of Hell. Now any one believing in Him is also free from the curse of Hell but that does not mean the person goes to Heaven.
Heaven also is not a place anyone can go with a corrupted body (corrupt / incomplete spirit and soul). Jesus is the only man (son of man) to go to Heaven since He was perfect / complete. We all lost the Fruit of Truth and Righteousness when man sinned would go there only after we are judged, after the Fruit of Truth (which we get from the Holy Spirit) is found in us, and we receive the Fruit of Righteousness from the Son.
It was not possible for Jonah or any human to go to Hell and resurrect as Jesus did. We see in today's scripture Jonah did not die in the belly of the fish. The word showl /sheol translated as Hell also means a place of no return. Peter describes Hell as a prison that does not mean every prison is Hell. We see Jonah used the word hell as an adjective, for in the very next scripture Jonah acknowledges he was in the deep sea and deep waters surrounded him.
Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 full days and Jesus stated the sign of after 3 days was a sign of no hope of eternal life for the wicked since the coming again of Christ will not benefit them / be too late for them.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, through your Word You have assured us of eternal life and by you resurrection on the 3rd day You confirmed this to us. We are assured our faith and dedication in You will not go in vain, but will see its fruit in You. We thank You Lord for confirming our hope into faith and faith into authority...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
39 But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 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.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
Matthew 16:4 - A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
29 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.
30 For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.
Matthew 16:21 - From that time forth began Jesus to show to his disciples, how that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Matthew 17:23 - And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
Matthew 20:19 - And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to whip, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Matthew 27:64 - Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
Acts 10:40 - Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.
54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Luke 9:27 - But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:52 - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Peter 3:18-20
18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
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