As Jonah was 3 days & 3 nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be 3 days & 3 nights in the heart of the earth. (Mt 12:40)
How do you think that old whale felt before burping Jonah onto the beach? Probably better afterward! It’s interesting how much that true story has been redeployed - even by our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. Its imagery captures the essence of Jesus’ atoning death & resurrection. In the 4th century, Bishop Gregory of Nyssa develops this maritime metaphor more by describing our enemy, the devil, as a gluttonous fish that is lured by the flesh of Christ as bait. Later, Luther then takes the details further when he allegorizes the whole thing: the worm is the humanity of Christ; the hook His divinity. The devil says, “should I not swallow the little worm?” He did not see the hook, nor the trouble he’d have digesting divinity in the belly of the earth! Turns out, Jesus who died on the cross like “a worm and no man” (Ps 22:6) was indigestible! The grave spit Him right out before His holy body could see corruption. Our age-old enemies of sin, death & the devil were soundly & roundly vanquished. Hallelujah!