The three days and three nights tends to be thought of by many as the time Yahushua spent in the tomb. But the scriptures tell us that he would raise from the dead upon the third day, so the third night could never be. Yahushua often spoke in parables to teach others. For example:
Many times people did not get the meaning.
And those who thought they did, the little they knew was taken away from them.
So of this interpretation does not fit, another needs to be sought. What is “the heart of the earth?”. It is a metaphor meaning something else. In this case it means Jerusalem, as Jerusalem was considered to be “the heart of the earth”.
So how does the three days and three nights fit in then?
We start upon the 9th day, six days before the Passover with Yahushua having supper with Martha, Lazarus, Mary and Judas.
The next day was the 10th day. Some tend to think this is the fourteenth day because scripture talks about the passover,
but as we see later, the passover was not for another five days. It was the day Yahushuah arrived.
The word meaning “Feast” in greek is heorte. It is in neither of these translations above.
You see, these days were not the feast days themselves but a time of preparation for the feasts.
This day was the 10th day of Abib.
The day in which the passover lambs were selected for slaughter on the 14th day at evening as scripture tells us:
Yahushua then sent Peter and John to the upper room to prepare. He knew he was not going to be eating this passover meal with his disciples as the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered in the 14th at even.
Yahushua had his last meal with the disciples on the evening of the 10th of Abib.
We also see the same thing occurring in John 13 which is a continuation of John 12:12 above.
After the last supper Yahushua goes to the garden of Gethsemane.
Sometime between midnight and the next dawn He was arrested at the mount of Olives and was taken to the house of the High Priest where He is examined (the same way the passover lamb was examined by the High Priest).
This started the 11th day. Yahushua is now in the belly of the whale – the heart of the earth – being persecuted.
This is the first day in the prophecy spoken of in Matthew 12:40.
The next day starts in Matthew 27:1 which is the 12th day and continues to the 13th day.
These events take place upon the second and third day of the prophecy spoken of in Matthew 12:40.
It concludes with the third night (upon the 13th) and the end of the prophecy is complete.
So he was then sent to Herod who questioned Him with many words.
The prophecy has ended here with the three days and three nights in the belly of the whale.
The fate of Yahushua was now sealed.
Upon the 14th day he was sent to be crucified and die for us.
The innocent lamb to the slaughter as was spoken about in Exodus.
He was crucified upon the 14th day.
That afternoon upon the 14th of Abib at even, He died upon the cross.
The 14th was Passover. It was also the preparation day for the Sabbath.
It was a great day as it started the feast of Unleavened bread and also was the first Sabbath where we could rejoice as Yahushua had paid for our sins.
The 16th day of the first month is known as “First fruits”. The reason becomes apparent when one looks in scripture. Leviticus 23 tells us First fruits is the day after the Sabbath. The Sabbath is upon the 15th. First fruits therefore upon the 16th.
But does the 16th line up with other areas in scripture as well?
When Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan they kept the passover upon the 14th.
The 15th they started the feast of Unleavened Bread (which starts the Sabbath – Leviticus 23:11) and
the next day they ate the fruits of the land which was the 16th.