Q. How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb?
A. In Matthew 12:40 which says, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Please allow me to quote some paragraphs taken from Pastor Doug Batchelor’s small book entitled “The Sign of Jonah” which I believe will be helpful to you.
“So as we look again at our Bible text, keep in mind that Jesus never said it would be three 24-hour segments, but rather, the suffering to end all suffering would occur over a period of three days and three nights.”
“Jesus was ‘in the heart of the earth,’ or in the grip of the enemy, over a period of three days and three nights – Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday.
“He rose on Sunday morning.”
“In like manner, the Jews reckoned time in such a way that if an event touched on any part of three days, it was considered a three-day event–ending on the third day. Jews also used sundials to keep time, and on cloudy days it was harder to measure exact time in hours and minutes. If you lived in a big city, guards or watchmen would ring a bell or blow a horn to mark off the hours. That’s how the Bible writers could tell us what hour Jesus was crucified and later died (Mark 15:25; Mark 15:34).”