Summary: A different look at the story of Jonah and the whale as compared to Jesus and the Tomb.

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“Three Days and Three Nights Later”

"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." Matthew 12:40 (KJV)

Intro: I am and have always been more of a morning person than a night owl. There is beauty in both watching the Sun set. And beauty in watching the Sun rise.

I’m not saying anything against those of you who like to sleep in late.

I don't always like getting up in the morning…, but I like mornings themselves.

Mornings are a time that are so full of promise.

Mornings are crisp and clean and new.

The old day has ended and new day is beginning.

It doesn't matter what happened yesterday.

We might have made a dozen mistakes.

But this new day can be a time of starting afresh.

It is also the time when darkness becomes light.

The dark is turned into dawn and the light of the new day comes in.

The brightness of that light hits us…, in a way…, like no other time.

Today we are going to talk about Three Days and Three Nights.

We are going to start with the old testament book of Jonah. But this Ain’t No Fish Story!

Most of us can probably remember “Jonah and the Whale” from Sunday School and VBS days, and even now that we are all grown up, we may still put it into the same category as Fairy Tale or just a children’s story.

But Jonah was a real person…, and his story is real and true.

Jesus Christ himself talks about Jonah’s experience with the fish…,

not as a parable but as a real person and a real event.

When you take a closer look at the book of Jonah in the Old Testament

We find only 4 chapters and with only 48 verses total in the whole book of Jonah.

You can sit down and read the entire book in about 5 minutes.

But we could talk for days about God’s purpose for Jonah and God’s compassion for the People of Nineveh.

And the Gospel of Matthew compares the Three days and Three nights that Jonah was in the belly of the whale, to the three days and three nights that Jesus was in the grave.

"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." Matthew 12:40 (KJV)

Let’s look at one of the lessons we can learn from the book of Jonah.

I. The Message is Less about Jonah running from God and More about God’s persistence with Jonah.

“ But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD” Jonah 1:3

Somehow that is the verse that always seems to stand out when people remember the story of Jonah.

Jonah was running from God… Jonah was fleeing to Tarshish. Jonah was trying to get away from the Lord.

O.K. We all can identify with running away from God.

Everyone at sometime falls into one of these three categories…

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Danny Brightwell

commented on Jun 24, 2014

A great lesson. Thank you for sharing it.

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