“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)
Have you ever been curious about what Christ meant by that? There are a number of theories out there. To me, though, none fully made sense. Especially the one that says during that time of history, a segment of a day was recognized as a whole day.
Part of the reason the people back then didn’t always understand Jesus was that at many times, He didn’t really use the thinking of that day (We have the same reason we also don’t always get what He means today).
Then one day, I heard a theory (I’m not sure from which evangelist) that really resonated with me. Maybe it will resonate with you, too.
The info below answers the “3 day, 3 night” theory:
Day1 (Thursday): The feast of Unleavened Bread is planned. (Matt 26:17)
Night1 Friday): At the feast, Christ institutes the Lords Supper (Matt 26:26-30).” He prays all night until He is arrested and taken to the Sanhedron. (Luke 22:47=53).
Day2 (Friday): He is taken to Pontius Pilate. (Matt. 27:2) and later hung on a cross. (Matt. 27:35)
Night2 (Sabbath): He was buried before sundown. (Mathew 27:57).
Day3 (Sabbath: Guards stand by the tomb. (Matt. 27:66)
Night3 (Sunday): Sabbath ends & He goes to His Father. (Luke 24:1)
When I heard this reasoning, it finally just fit! While the last day was not a whole day, All the rest were, but He never said He would be in the "heart" the full 72 hours.
Amazing Facts: Explain how Jesus was in the tomb 3 days
Is that not true for you, too? If not, that’s OK. This theory is not going to make or break your getting to heaven. It’s just a theory.