Several years ago, I spent a lot of time studying the Book of Jonah'. Last night I began again to think of this little Book. I 'visualized' myself being with those who were sitting around the table with Jesus AFTER he rose from the grave. I realized that His disciples had no idea that He did not have to go through death on the cross in order for Him to transcend. They had no idea that they were sitting
and talking with God (the father). They thought they were listening to the 'man' they knew as Jesus, as being the one who rose from the tomb. He experienced death on the cross, in order to demonstrate to those around Him, that death had no power over Him. It was for this reason He told the Pharisees that there would be no sign given but for the sign of the prophet Jonah. Repent or you shall die! It was also what was required of them! They had no idea that they too were God embodied. What He was telling the Pharisees, was DO NOT BE A JONAH! Even though God raised him from the grave, he was upset because God spared the people of Ninevah. He wanted to see the city and the people of Ninevah destroyed... Jonah was a hypocrite!
In the days of Jonah, nothing was known about the Spiritual Rebirth. Sincere repentance was what was required in order to experience Gods salvation. In the days of Jonah, they were not aware that man was God individualized. Prior to 'Jesus', nothing was known about man and God being one and the same. He introduced the World to the Spiritual Rebirth. Ye must be born again He said, but no one understood what He meant. No one got the message! Every one around Him functioned as the person their parents created when they named them. They could not believe that He was God, for they 'believed' that they (in their John Doe identity) were not. Such was the World in the days of Jonah, and such was the World in 'Jesus' time and such is the World today! I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have life more abundantly! As I have said, thanks to Mary's 'Spiritual revelation', 'Jesus' (the Father) showed us what manner of beings we are.
God spared the people of Ninevah, because they REPENTED! They did not have to experience death in order to be saved. They had but to repent! Jonah rebelled against God and disobeyed Him when God ordered him to go to Ninevah and advise the people of Ninevah that they must repent or be destroyed. Because he disobeyed, he was thrown overboard and was swallowed by a large fish. While in the belly of the whale he pleaded for forgiveness. He seriously repented, and God spared him and the whale vomited him up. (It appeared that Jonah was even "in the Spirit", but didn't realize it, for he made the journey to Ninevah in a single day. A trip that normally took three days to make.) There he delivered Gods message to the people of Ninevah, and they covered themselves in ash cloth and did indeed repent! And God spared the entire city! But Jonah had not changed! Jonah still saw himself as being 'Jonah', for he sulked when God spared the inhabitants of the city of Ninevah! Even though he experienced Gods forgiveness, he was angry because God spared the people of Ninevah! We need to truly REPENT, but it is quite apparent, that repentance is not sufficient to bring about our transfiguration! We must also be 'born again'! So long as we continue to function as the person our parents created when they named us, we will still die! We must die to self! Was this not the real reason for 'Jesus' coming... to introduce us to the Spiritual Rebirth, to demonstrate to us that man and God are One? To acknowledge God as our reality is synonymous with experiencing the resurrection. In doing so, it is the Father (the real you and the real me) that will be resurrected! Jesus experienced death on our behalf to demonstrate that death has no power over one who walks AS God!
From the book of Jonah, we see that there is life after death! But in order to experience an Eternal reality, (to 'by-pass' death) we must walk in our I AM THAT I AM identity! We must choose to die as the person our parents created when they named us at our birth, and 'walk AS the Father'... through faith in the belief that God (the Father) is the "I" within us! In doing so, we can indeed experience the resurrection and the transfiguration without having to experience physical death!