The Bible doesn’t say specifically what day Jesus was crucified on. Tradition says he was Crucified and buried on Friday and that he rose on Sunday but that does not account for three days and three nights. It also doesn’t make sense of what scripture does tell us.
Jesus tells us how long he was to be in the tomb
“for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
Some people say that the exact number is not important but as for me I believe that it really is. He said specifics for a reason and we ought to care about what we do know. What God has revealed is for us and I take to heart every single part that I am able to know, since there is so much that we don’t know. Though I am not knocking those who hold to a Friday crucifixion I simply want to explain another view that I think accounts for all of the things and no I am not the first person to say this.
In the Jewish mind of the first century they would have said that part of Friday, all day Saturday and part of Sunday is three days and I can understand that view but it seems a bit flimsy. I like to take Jesus as literally as possible in what he says when it is appropriate. He didn’t say three days, he said three days and three nights.
Mark 15:42 says that Jesus was crucified the day before the sabbath. We know that the Sabbath was on Saturday so the obvious conclusion is that he was crucified on Friday. While some translations translate this verse to say on the third day
“saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” Luke 9:22
It might be possible that “after three days” might be a better translation as in Mark 8:31
“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31
One thing to take into account is the fact that Jesus was crucified the day before the Sabbath day. The day of preparation. As stated in Mark 15:42 and Luke 23:52-54. The women purchased the spices after the Sabbath.
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.” Mark 16:1
This was the High Sabbath (The Passover).
“This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.” Leviticus 16:29-31
As well as Leviticus 23:24-32 and 39. These were High holy days that were not necessarily on the seventh day of the week. (Saturday Sabbath day)
“Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” Luke 23:55-56
If you notice the woman bought the spices after the Sabbath and before the Sabbath they prepared them and then rested on the Sabbath (Saturday). This can only be accounted for in the model of a Wednesday Crucifixion. Where Jesus was Crucified on Wednesday and buried. Remember that in those days sun down marked the next day so that night would be the first night and the start of Thursday the Passover. The woman then on Friday purchased the spices and prepared them before resting on the Saturday Sabbath. We do not know exactly what time Jesus Rose from the Dead; we simply know when they went to the tomb. The women went to the tomb and found it empty at sunrise before it was fully light.
“Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen.”Mark 16:2
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1
All in all the day that he was crucified does not change the gospel. What day we celebrate doesn’t change anything. It is simply an explanation to many peoples questions. Things like this tend to trip people up when they think that a human explanation does not fit with scritpure. Instead of thinking that not all humans have the best explanation they think that the Bible is at fault. In things like this When there are multiple ways of viewing something I go with the one that lines up the best with what scripture has to say. Thankfully if you believe it was Wednesday or Friday it doesn’t change the message of the gospel.
The whole reason that we celebrate is to celebrate the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
God loved everyone so much that before the foundation of the world he forknew exactly what he was planning. He knew every animal, every person, every leaf and bug and he knew all of the decisions that each person would make. He knew sin would come into the world. He knew that man would need salvation and he planned that Jesus would be the payment for the sins of the world.
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” Revelation 13:8
We are called to believe in Jesus to have Eternal life. He took the wrath of God on himself.
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
Jesus the sinless sacrifice. The spotless unblemished lamb of God. The Passover sacrifice that redeemed everyone that believes in him.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
He lived the perfect life that no man could live. Fulfilling all of the Law.
“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:3-12
Only through him can we be saved. We should not just celebrate what he has done on one day but every minute of every day. We owe him our everything and should spend eternity worshiping him and thanking him for who he is and the sacrifice he has made to redeem our souls.