Addressing his disciples Jesus says :
Before, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:32,33)
Now what does Jesus’s victory consist of ? In his death on the cross or in his escape from the cross ? If he died on the cross then the Jews were successful because the very aim of their’s was to prove that he was false in calling himself the Messiah. They had in their support the Biblical statement “he that is hanged is an accursed of God” (Deut. 21:23)
But is we believe that he was taken down from the cross alive (in a state of swoon ofcourse) and he entered the heart of the earth alive, then he can rightly be said to have overcome his enemies and frustrated all their evil designs. Jesus says : “For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation”.
In other words Jesus said to the Jews that God Almighty would save him from the clutches of death in the same way as He had saved Jonah from the belly of the whale. The similarity between the two incidents can be real and genuine only when Jesus enters the heart of the earth (grave) alive and comes out alive.