Sometimes what we hold as fact just isn't truth. Sometimes traditions are based upon false premises. Sometimes we are just wrong. There is clear, concrete evidence in the scriptures that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, not Friday!
Think about it for a moment! How could Jesus have been in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights if He died on a Friday afternoon and rose before sunrise on a Sunday? This always used to bother me for I could and still can only come up with one day and two nights (Friday nighttime, Saturday daytime, and Saturday nighttime).
The Old Testament lamb was killed between 3 and 6 PM on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib/Nisan and prepared, because the 15th was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was an annual Sabbath observance (the first and last days of Unleavened Bread were annual Sabbaths in addition to the normal weekly Sabbaths). A clear search of the scriptures is important, not because it affects a person's salvation, but because it answers the questions whether Jesus kept His Word, AND whether the Bible is really true or not. So many want to take away from the validity and the reliability of God's Word, so a clear understanding of this subject will help us prove that God's Word is true!
"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord's Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation ; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work." Leviticus 23:5-8
The above text confirms that the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are annual Sabbaths, to be observed as a day of rest in addition to the weekly Sabbaths. These days would occur on the 15th and 21st of Abib/Nisan. The Passover meal was an important religious observance in which to remember that the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their houses kept them alive when the angel of death 'passed over', and that God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. The Passover is a perpetual observance to celebrate passing from death to life. These ancient events foretold the blood of Jesus being spilled for our sins, and our passage from death to eternal life, by the everlasting covenant of the blood of Jesus. They also foretold that Jesus would die as the national Passover Lamb, exactly on the 14th of Abib/Nisan and that the day following was an annual Sabbath.
What follows is an examination of the biblical record, in which Jesus was killed on the 14th of Nisan in the afternoon, and the next day was the annual Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This annual Sabbath did not fall on the weekly Sabbath, in the year that Jesus died."Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish; so shall the Son of Man be THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:38-40
Jesus Himself tells of the extent of His stay in the heart of the earth (study that verse for a good while and see that He is talking more than just about being in the grave!!!).
"The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for THAT SABBATH WAS A HIGH DAY, asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away."
OK, did you see that? This Sabbath was a HIGH Sabbath! It was not just an ordinary, weekly Sabbath, but instead the ANNUAL or YEARLY Sabbath!
Understand that the Jewish day started at 6PM in the evening. For instance, if it is 6PM Monday night in our world, then it would be the beginning of Tuesday for the Jew.
The Passover meal was actually the meal preceding the Annual Sabbath, the HIGH Sabbath day. Jesus was crucified Wednesday and placed in the grave before 6PM Wednesday evening, (Jewish Thursday/Annual Sabbath), in accordance with the Jewish Law.
He was not there when the Mary's arrived at the tomb at 'twilight' (that is before daylight!) before 6AM Sunday morning. He was gone!!!
Once the preceding about an Annual Sabbath is understood it can easily be seen that Jesus was crucified and buried on Wednesday and remained in the grave till sometime prior to Sunday morning - 3 Days and 3 Nights!(Remember, the Jewish day started at 6PM! To put it in understandable terms - by 6PM Wednesday evening, which would be the Jews 'Thursday', Jesus was in the tomb, 1 Day, Friday - 2nd Day - Saturday 3rd Day!
This must be for if Jesus died on Friday, he would have been considered in the grave for a very short period of time that no one in their right mind could come to a 3 Days and 3 Nights conclusion as the Bible specifically says.
OK this was the shortened version but I hope it suffices. I know that some will never see it other than Friday and that is OK for them! Everyone has a right to be wrong. :)
Proper Conclusion: Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, not Friday!