Saved Through The Sign Of Jonah?
by Sandor Balog 11/18/2011 / Bible Studies
You may know that the focal point linking the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) is Jesus Himself. I imagine this to myself as an hourglass, with its narrow middle part being elongated a bit, symbolizing that the OT prophecies did not only point to Jesus' birth as a moment in time but also relate to His whole earthly life, the period He spent in the tomb and His resurrection before His body would see corruption (Psalm 16:10), and His ascension to the right hand of God. Christians are in agreement that it is Jesus' redemptive sacrifice that really matters. They also regard Jesus' resurrection as an event foreshadowing the final and universal resurrection of all the dead.
Traditional churches and many denominations teach that the crucifixion took place on a Friday and the resurrection on a Sunday. Some denominations, professional and amateur theologians believe in the three days and three nights theory. Some of them believe that the crucifixion fell on a Wednesday and the resurrection on a Saturday, while others adopt a Thursday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection. In my view, without determining the exact calendar year, month and days of these events, they are just SHOOTING IN A DARKENED ROOM (but the target is not even indoors).
In Mat 12:40, Jesus mentions the period of three days and three nights twice, most probably in order to emphasize its importance. He also mentions "the sign of Jonah" as the only sign He would give.
As far as I can see from here in Hungary, great interest is shown in the US in this topic and many have tried to resolve the issue of the three days and three nights. Many claim to have found the ultimate and only possible answer to this question. I have noticed that mainstream media theologians tend to avoid dealing too much with this topic. Instead, they tend to remain silent on this issue. Rev. Ralph E. Woodrow and his book entitled "Three Days And Three Nights" constituted a kind of breakthrough, with significant publicity, but his theory in support of a Wednesday crucifixion and Saturday resurrection was not correct. In the meantime, Rev. Woodrow withdrew his book and theory, and then published a new book entitled "Three Days And Three Nights Reconsidered In Light Of Scripture", which I read with astonishment and disappointment. In it, Rev. Woodrow rejected his former theory, which was false anyway. In his new book, he presents us with a two-column table. The one column only comprises Mat 12:40 mentioning Jonah's sign, i. e. the three days and three nights. The other column comprises twenty Gospel verses that can be used in support of the Good Friday theory. The argument of Rev. Woodrow is at least strange to me: he compares a crystal-clear Gospel verse (Mat 12:40) with twenty vague hints, and then attaches great importance to their number. His approach reminds me of a retail scale. Nevertheless, his initial book gave me an impetus to thoroughly investigate this topic. In the end, my efforts were crowned with success. I established the exact calendar dates of the four major events of Jesus' earthly life: His birth, baptism, death and resurrection. This is BAD NEWS for atheists, anti-Christians, non-Christians, traditional Christian churches and other old and new denominations. They are not likely to support and disseminate these findings. And, if they will not do so, then who will?
Well, the situation seems rather hopeless. How can these true facts be made widely known, at least to Christians?
Given the present content-filters of the US media, which I have experienced over the past year, and since I lack sufficient funds to conduct a promotional campaign for my essay entitled "How Could Jesus Spend Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb?" and/or for the book entitled "Palm Wednesday" authored by Attila B. Magyar, my only hope is that those who have read my article (now well over 3,300) and those who will read it, would be so kind as to make available these findings to as many people as they can. I think this would be a kind of evangelism, which, in my view, would certainly meet with Jesus' approval. It would be helpful if the readers would merely mention that such an essay exists and comprises "allegedly" important findings.
The exact CALENDAR dates of the four major events in Jesus' earthly life:
JESUS' BIRTH: September 26, BCE 4, 3pm
JESUS' BAPTISM: September 26, 27 CE, 3pm
JESUS' DEATH: March 25, 31 CE (Nisan 15, 3791), Tuesday, 3pm
JESUS' RESURRECTION: March 28 (Nisan 18, 3791), Friday, about 6pm
Accordingly, there are now two sources of information concerning the above-mentioned exact dates. I invite you to benefit from this vital information. Why do I say "vital"? (The exact dates of Jesus' birth and baptism are not of vital importance. These are not related to the sign of Jonah. However, once we have determined the exact dates of His death and resurrection, we should not remain silent on the fact that the exact dates of Jesus' birth and baptism have become readily available.) At the moment, I do not know any other criteria that Jesus would be able to use as a yardstick to "measure" our faith in Him than the sign of Jonah. What other criteria could "measure" your faith in Jesus? That you believe in the riddle of the Da Vinci code? That you believe in Harry Potter's magic tricks? That you are a churchgoer? That you fill a leading post in a church? That you render church or field (door-to door) services? That you are a registered member of any church? That you read the Bible? That you are a taxpayer?
Of course, there are many criteria Jesus may use to judge you, including what you have done in your life and the current condition of your mind and heart. However good a result you may achieve in that final test, if you fail to believe in the sign of Jonah, in other words: in what Jesus foretold in Mat 12:40 about His spending three days and three nights in the tomb (or the heart of the earth), you may well be judged by Jesus as one not believing in Him, pleasing men rather than God, when He comes to "separate the sheep from the goats", as He put it. This is why the findings concerning the exact dates of Jesus' death and resurrection may be of VITAL importance. If you truly believe in the ONLY sign Jesus gave, it may well be a source of credit for you. "Truly believing" does not mean just declaring that "Okay, okay, I believe in the sign of Jonah". These are merely empty words. It requires more: you should take the time and trouble to deal with the topic in detail and fully ascertain that the sign of Jonah Jesus spoke of is that He actually spent three days and three nights in the tomb and that it happened as it is written and supported by evidence. To do so, the explanation of the sign of Jonah, including biblical and historical evidence, is now readily available to you in the above-mentioned essay. This is one source of this vital information. The book constitutes the other one. "Palm Wednesday" is meant for those who can "digest" a theory more easily, if it is wrapped up in an entertaining novel. I do hope that the readers of the book will also read the essay subsequently, since it is the essay that contains all details and aspects of the theory.
Believing in the sign of Jonah means BELIEVING in Jesus. Disseminating the true facts about the sign of Jonah means DEFENDING Jesus from the accusation of being a liar who did not fulfill even His own prophecy about Himself. Defending is more than simply believing. Your defending Jesus is a voluntary activity implying your love for Him. It is a kind of evangelism, a proactive attitude, a voluntary assumption of the responsibility God has delegated to you. This is the same as what Jesus did: proclaiming God's truth is to voluntarily assume responsibility and express your Christian love for your neighbor.
Consider the above and decide at your own discretion.
I can only wish you much insight.
God bless you!