“Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17) Some of you are thinking, “Why is he talking about “Jonah and the Big Fish” on Easter Sunday?”, while others of you are way ahead of me.
Luke 11:16 tells us that “others” were asking Jesus for a sign from Heaven. Matthew 12:38 tells us who the “others” were. They were Pharisees and teachers of the law. Jesus’ response to them is in Luke 11:29-30. “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:29-30) The Matthew 12:40 account explains the correlation for us between Jonah and Jesus. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)
In Luke 9:22 and 18:31-33 Jesus told his disciples that He would suffer many things, die and rise again on the third day. Luke 9:22 says this. “And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’” (Luke 9:22) Luke 18:31-33 says this. “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.’” (Luke 18:31-33) In Luke 24:6-7 we read that it happened just as Jesus said. When the women arrived at the tomb they saw that the stone was rolled away and an angel spoke to them. This is what He said to them. “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again’.” (Luke 24:6-7)
The “sign of Jonah” has been given. Jesus died, was buried and came back to life on the third day. What more proof or “sign” do they or we need that Jesus is who He claimed to be and had authority to say the things He said. He is the Son of God. He came to give His life so we could be forgiven of our sins, be in right relationship with God and have eternal life. But He didn’t stay dead. He didn’t stay in the tomb. He’s Alive! Happy Resurrection Sunday everyone!