Jonah was in the belly of a great fish, symbolic of death and tomb for 3 days and nights. Messiah/Christ , in death in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea, was hidden for 3 days and nights. Christ had connection to the number 40. For example, there were 40 days from the Feast of First Fruits until Ascension Day.
What other number is the Sign of Jonah? The earlier 3 days were prelude and preparation for what he was supposed to do, but refused, and went on a ship headed away from Ninevah. It was divine command for Jonah to preach repentance at Ninevah for a full 40 days. Jonah finally obeyed and did his work. From the King on down in the social order at Ninevah, every person repented by day 40. Everyone had many chances to repent, to change, to escape judgment and destruction during those momentous 40 days. All Ninevah was spared, whether Jonah liked it or not.
Might there be a final sign of Jonah, for 40 days before the date of The Blessed Hope? There is a 40 day period to consider with themes of repentence and teshuvah. It is not Lent, based on the pagan custom of 40 days of mourning for Tammuz, killed by a wild boar. The month of Elul, month 6 of the Spiritual Year for Israel, lasts 30 days. Then are the Days of Awe, in between Tishri 1-10, from The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) until the Solemn Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.
This year will the whole world be like Ninevah, and given 40 days to repent before the culmination date of Yom Kippur? The Sign of Jonah for our times would not be complete on the Feast of Trumpets, day counts 31-32. Paul called Yom Kippur "The Day" to highlight its supreme significance. Will this be a most important 40 day period ahead in 2014, from Elul 1 until Yom Kippur? We shall see.
With Love and Shalom,