So Jesus was telling them that similar to how Jonah went to preach to the city of Nineveh, He Himself, Jesus, was sent out to preach to a city also. Now, if you recall the people who Jonah preached to, they listened to him and because they listened and repented, their city was conserved. However the people who Jesus preached to rejected Him and killed Him. Which suggests if Jesus is a parallel of Jonah, that means that we should see in history something that took place to the city of those who rejected Jesus! Simply incredible!
First of all, we need to discover the city that Jesus was sent to preach. Well, we see that in Matthew chapter 24 verse 1, it reads:
Jesus left the temple and was leaving but his disciples came near him and called his attention to call His attention to its structures. Then Jesus says this to them. “Do you see all these buildings?” He asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another, each will be thrown down.”
Jesus understood that the people who He preached to in a call to repent would decline Him. And given that He understands that He is a parallel of Jonah, He knew that if they rejected Him, their city would be ruined. And what was that city that Jesus was called to preach to? Jerusalem!
Jesus basically said to them. Listen to me, repent or the same thing that would have taken place to Nineveh, will happen to you. However they didn’t listen. They had Him crucified. Now when Jonah was preaching to the Ninevites, he said that if they did not listen to him, their city would be ruined in 40 days. 40 days right here is not a coincidence.
What we are about to see is that this is an instance of what the Bible sometimes refers to as “day to year” prophecy. Day to year prophecy is a parallel where the number of days that something occurred in the past relates to the number of years something will happen in the future.
For example, when you read the book of Daniel, we see an example of day to year prophecy in chapter 9 where he is going through the 70 weeks. Also in Ezekiel 4 verse 6 we see another example. “I have actually assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.” And also in Numbers 14 verse 34, it states, “For forty years– one year for each of the forty days you explored the land– you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ Throughout Scripture, we see that especially with the number 40 days can point to the number of years something will take place in the future. So here it is.
Jesus went to preach to those in Jerusalem and unlike the people in the story of Jonah, they rejected and killed Him. So now when we look back in history, we ought to see something that happened to the city of Jerusalem 40 years after they killed God’s messenger Jesus. Well, with numerous historical sources, references and archaeological evidences, most historians concur that Jesus was killed in 30 AD.
Well, when we look at history, we will see that the single largest event that happened to the Jewish people was the fall of Jerusalem when the Romans came and threw down its walls and annihilated its temple. And it is an absolute historical fact that the date that Jerusalem was destroyed and its city overturned was in 70 AD! This is huge! This is huge because this here is historical evidence that precisely 40 years after Jesus was killed in 30 AD, Jerusalem, their city was destroyed in 70 AD!