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Three days and three nights [Full Study]


 

(Some of the Bible verses quoted in this study have had comments added in brackets. The sole purpose of this study technique is to emphasise or introduce a line of thought. All verses KJV unless otherwise stated).

Throughout Christendom today, there are many conflicting teachings, on nearly every Biblical topic you could imagine.
It is interesting, that each differing view, is claimed to be based on the same Scriptures.
How can this be?
How can one set of writings, support several differing and even opposing teachings?

It has become apparent to me over recent years, that there is a clear explanation for this strange phenomenon.
One of the first problems is that most Christians read their presuppositions into God's word, rather than studying God's word to see what it is actually saying.
I must admit that until recent years, I was guilty of this method of self-deception.

With over 1000 different Christian denominations today, all with varying beliefs; you could say that this phenomenon has gotten out of hand.
When Paul made the following statement, I bet he never imagined how many different gospels would eventually be preached;
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Blended with a well-known verse from Genesis; the leaders of the different churches today seem to be saying the following;
"And man said, Let us make God in our image, after our likeness: and let us have dominion over what we interpret to be truth. So man created God in his own image, in the image of man created he Him".

Some churches have created a God that doesn't require repentance from sin.
Some churches have created a God that endorses homosexuality.
Some churches have created a God who will not allow them to experience Tribulation.

Almost every Christian will claim that they are the one with the truth.
Everyone is right in their own mind.
Or looking at it another way;
If you didn't believe, that what you believe is truth; then you wouldn't believe it in the first place.
You may want to read that again!

Unfortunately, believing something is truth, does not make it truth. God's truth will prevail regardless of what we want to believe is truth.
If for example we chose to believe that repentance is unnecessary today; do you think that God would just change His truth to accommodate our belief?
Notice what Peter wrote about Paul's writings, which now make up a major portion of our New Testament;
2 Pet 3:16 …His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. NIV

So how do we determine the intended truth held in Scripture?
We now need to look more closely at the cause of error.
It takes a change of mindset. First we need to empty our heads of all our presuppositions, then pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. We need to hear and accept what the words are saying, rather than try to interpret them to harmonise with our presuppositions.
Arriving at an intended truth has to be the result of creating harmony with all that the Bible has to say on a particular topic.
God is not the author of confusion, and the Bible does not contradict itself in any topic, when we discern the intended meaning of a particular verse.

We'll now look at some practical examples of this.
Although not a salvational issue, there is a common belief that we go straight to heaven or hell at the moment of death.
Supporters of this belief will often quote;
Luk 23:43 Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." ISV
Jesus was speaking to the thief on the cross. He does seem to be telling the thief that he would join Jesus that day in paradise.
However, original Greek texts did not have a 'comma'; man later added it. Notice what happens if we decide to move the comma;
"Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise."
In English, this verse holds two different meanings, simply by man putting a comma in either of two different positions.
So how do we confirm where the comma actually belongs?
You would firstly need to look at whether this idea is harmonious with all other verses on this topic.
And in this case, the Greek word is what carries the most weight in understanding this verse correctly.
Verily I say unto thee today shalt thou be 2071 with me in paradise.

If you look in the concordance at 2071 'esomai', it means 'future tense' of 1510.
If you look at the use of 1510 'eimi' it is always used in 'present tense' situations, ie, 'today' is present tense.
Examining verses using 2071 'esomai', it always relates to 'future tense' situations.
eg; Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:
there shall be2071 weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.2071
Rom 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have2071 a son.

To be in keeping with the intended meaning of 'esomai', the verse should be more accurately translated as;
Verily I say unto thee today (today when my situation must look so hopeless), thou shalt be 2071 with me in paradise (when I raise you up in the last day).

Other evidence supports that this must be the case.
It is my understanding, that when Jesus was dead in the tomb, He couldn't go anywhere; He was dead. If not, he didn't pay the penalty for sin, for all mankind. The penalty for sin is not death by cancer, or old age, or road accident (these are all consequences of sin).
If Jesus' death was intended to save us from our first death; then why is everyone still dieing from these causes?
Because the penalty for sin, is death by execution, the second death.
The second death is the one that Jesus can save us from, (and some living at the Second Coming will be blessed with not experiencing any death).
At the end of the thousand years, God will execute the wicked by raining fire down from heaven and by casting them into the lake of fire; this is the second death, being the penalty for sin.
Jesus was the first to experience the second death (through His execution), in place of all sinners who put their faith in Him. This death however could not hold Him, because He was without sin.
The second death is to die body and soul. Notice what Jesus said;
Luk 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

The word 'commend' 3908, means to deposit or commit for protection. Jesus gave up his Spirit; it returned to the Father. The spirit that Jesus commended into the hands of the Father at that time, is not referring to a conscious, intelligent part of His being, that could exist outside His body.
The Greek word for 'Spirit'; G4151 pneuma; which means 'current of air' or 'breath'.
This will be the experience of all the wicked that will die the second death, when their Spirit (ie, their breath) returns to God; they will cease to exist.
This is why Jesus needed the Spirit from the Father, to raise Him from the dead on the third day;
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered (the experience of the second death) for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit:
Jesus was dead, until the Father raised him from the dead;
Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle,…by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him (the Father) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Other evidence verifies that the thief on the cross couldn't possibly have been with Jesus in heaven (paradise) that same day. On the third day, when Jesus left the tomb, He emphasises that He hasn't been to heaven, to His Father yet;
Joh 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:…

The thief is actually waiting in the grave, like most other dead people from throughout history.
When he is resurrected at Christ's Second Coming, to the thief it will seem like he went straight from death to heaven, because his 2000-year sleep went unnoticed by him. There are many other verses we could quote to show this consistency;
Act 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day…
Act 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens:…

As you can see; it is about producing harmony with everything revealed on this topic. It is only by doing this, that we can be led closer to Bible truth.
In this case, Jesus died, and did not leave the tomb in any way, shape or form, to spend time with the thief. The Spirit of the Father 'raised Him from the dead' on the third day, at which time Jesus was able to go to heaven (paradise).

Let's look at another example.
On a similar topic, this example deals with Jesus being raised on the third day.
Many hold to the traditional view that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and that the third day He was raised, was Sunday morning.
This view is not without substance, as the apostle Luke does testify that Sunday was the third day since His crucifixion;
Luk 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. (so this is Sunday morning)
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day (ie, Sunday) to a village called Emmaus,…
Luk 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them….
Luk 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said…
Luk 24:19 …Concerning Jesus of Nazareth,…
Luk 24:20 …the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today (ie, Sunday) is the third day since these things (being delivered up and crucified) were done.

This does seem quite clear; however, one verse opposing this view, causes others to prefer the Wednesday crucifixion theory;
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah 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.

Advocates of a Wednesday crucifixion call the day after the crucifixion the first day. Not only that, they also have Jesus rise Saturday to conform to Jesus rising the third day. Immediately we see that this theory creates conflict with Luke's account of Sunday being the third day.
In reality, using Bible terms, the first day is ALWAYS the day an event occurred. You will not find one Biblical example, which defines 'first day' as the day after an event.
These verses from God help us to understand what 'third day' means to Him;
Lev 7:16 But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: (ie, the day it is killed is the first day) and on the morrow (the second day) also the remainder of it shall be eaten:
Lev 7:17 But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire.
And again;
Lev 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it (the first day), and on the morrow (the second day): and if aught remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.

This is also what the people understood to be the 'third day'; 1Sa 20:5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow (ie, the second day) is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day (ie, the day after tomorrow) at even.

Notice when Esther invited the King to her banquet, she asked if they would come again 'tomorrow';
Est 5:8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king,…let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the king hath said….
And then we find 'tomorrow' is referred to as 'the second day';
Est 7:2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther?…

And again wee see this conformity for timing;
Jdg 20:21 And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men. (note in the following verse, that the day of this event is referred to as the first day)
Jdg 20:22 And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.
Jdg 20:25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men….
Jdg 20:30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.

And again;
Exo 19:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes,
Exo 19:11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

And finally, Jesus directly reveals His understanding of 'third day';
Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

So Jesus defines 'third day' as what we would call 'the day after tomorrow'.
In fact, all the Bible examples consistently define 'third day' as what we would call 'the day after tomorrow'.
Even creation week; first day, second day, third day, etc.
You will not find even one Scriptural example that differs from this.
So based on the way Jesus defines time, a Wednesday crucifixion makes Thursday 'the morrow' and Friday the 'third day'. The Bible states that Jesus rose the third day. So did Jesus rise Friday???
Wednesday = 1st day
Thursday = 2nd day
Friday = 3rd day
Sabbath = 4th day
Sunday = 5th day

But what about that one verse opposing the Friday crucifixion view;

Mat 12:40 For as Jonah 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.

As you should see, this verse does not appear to conform to a Friday crucifixion. It tells us that Jesus would spend 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, and yet as seen below, a Friday crucifixion does not fulfil this specification;

It is clear that Friday afternoon to Sunday morning only spans 2 nights and part of 3 days; well short of the 3 days and 3 nights foretold.
Or is it?
Where was Jesus to spend the 3 days and 3 nights?
…three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

What does 'heart of the earth' refer to?
Clearly this is saying;
'Middle of the earth'
or 'In the earth'
or 'In the tomb'

If it means in the tomb, don't you think it would use the Greek word G3419; meaning tomb?
Mar 6:29 …took up his corpse, and laid it inG1722 a tomb.G3419

Or if it means 'middle of the earth', don't you think it would use the Greek word for centre or middle?
So what does the word 'heart' really mean?
It is the Greek word G2588, which is used 152 times in the New Testament.
Below are a few examples of other verses using G2588; heart;
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in hisG848 heart.G2588
Mat 9:4 …Wherefore think ye evil in yourG5216 hearts?G2588
Mat 13:15 For this people'sG2992 heartG2588 is waxed gross,…

We won't look at all 152 examples; I have already done that.
As with the above few verses, 'heart', without exception; always refers to a condition of man's heart, whether physical or emotional; and not once does it refer symbolically to 'middle' or 'tomb'.

It is interesting how all these years, like many; I have always thought of 'heart of the earth' as referring to 'middle of the earth' or 'in the tomb'.
But is it actually saying something quite different to our presupposition?
What is the prevalent condition of man's heart on this earth?
What was the condition of man's heart at the time of Christ?
Mat 9:4 …Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross,…

What was the condition of man's heart on earth in the days of Noah?; Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

It seems that man's 'heart of the earth' is mostly wicked.
Psa 58:2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

Wasn't it the 'hands of wicked hearts' on this earth, which crucified our Lord?
So, at what point in time was Jesus 'in the hands of wicked hearted men'?
Jesus often spoke to His disciples about His death and His rising again the third day.
Have you ever noticed (in every case), where Jesus starts counting from;
Mat 17:22 …Jesus said…, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of (wicked) men:
Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again…
Mat 20:18 …the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Mar 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Mar 10:33 …the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:
Mar 10:34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Luk 18:32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
Luk 18:33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

In every reference to being raised on the third day, Jesus always counts from being delivered into the hands of (evil hearted) men.
So did the 3 days and 3 nights 'in the heart of the earth', therefore commence from the time Jesus was arrested???
Could being 'in the heart of the earth' refer to being in the hands of evil hearted men?
What time would have been hardest for Jesus to bear, once in the hands of wicked men;
the time He was in the tomb,
or the time from being arrested, to finally 'giving up the ghost' on the cross?

If we count from His betrayal, does the 3 days and 3 nights verse really conflict with a Friday crucifixion?;

Although not 3 full days and nights, we do end up spanning the 3 days and 3 nights.
This also conforms to Jesus rising the third day, Sunday, as confirmed by Luke.

Being betrayed into the evil hearts of mankind, could therefore be referred to as 'in the heart of the earth'.
As seen earlier, verses that speak of Jesus rising on the third day; consistently commence with His betrayal;
Luk 24:7 Saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Remember, the period of suffering was from His arrest through to His death; there was no suffering after His death through to His resurrection. Therefore the period of suffering would need to be also taken into the equation.
lthough I cannot 'prove' this idea in order to say that this is right; we know that to create conformity with all Scripture, we must consider that the meaning of '3 days and 3 nights' may differ from our presupposition of it.

In reality, the Wednesday theory creates more contradiction in Scripture, than what the
"3 days and 3 nights" verse appears to create for a Friday crucifixion.
The "3 days and 3 nights" verse is the only one (that I have found), that appears to contradict a Friday crucifixion.
Yet there are several clear Scriptural contradictions to the Wednesday theory.

For me, it gets to the point when you have to ask; is it right to ignore several contradictions to a Wednesday crucifixion, to make this one verse conform (3 days and 3 nights); or do we allow the majority to conform, and consider that this one verse may need to be looked at differently.

We have already seen how Luke's account and the Biblical meaning of 'third day', opposes a Wednesday crucifixion; but now we'll look at which of the two theories harmonises best with other Biblical evidence on this subject.

To do this we need to start with a foundation of historical facts.
From NASA new moon historic data; http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/phase/phases0001.html

A.D. 29
First New Moon on or after Equinox: Saturday, April 2, 5 p.m.

A.D. 30
First New Moon on or after Equinox: Wednesday, March 22, 6 p.m.

A.D. 31
First New Moon on or after Equinox: Tuesday, April 10, 12 noon

Looking at historic 'New Moon' records, AD 30 is the only year that produces a Wednesday Passover.
In AD 30, Nissan 14 (Passover) = Wednesday.

Not only is 30 AD the only year that conforms to the moon cycles, it is also the only year that conforms to the Jubilee Calender.
Based on the Jubilee calender cycles, 30 AD was a Wednesday year. The 70th week of Daniel 9:24 began with the Sunday year of 27 AD. In the midst of the 70th week, Messiah was 'cut off', being 30 AD, a Wednesday year (the middle of the week). 34 AD concluded the 70th week, being a Sabbath year. This marked the end of Israel's 70 sevens of mercy, and marks the point in time when Peter received the vision to take the gospel to the Gentiles.

So these records show that in the year of Jesus' death, the Passover fell on a Wednesday.
To summarise the two options;
- The Wednesday theory has Jesus eat an early 'pretend' Passover meal with His disciples Tuesday night, arrested early the next morning, to be crucified on the Wednesday Passover, and rises on the weekly Sabbath.
- The Friday theory has Jesus eat the actual Passover meal with His disciples on the right day (Wednesday night); goes out to Mount of Olives at day break (Thursday) in accordance with Passover law; is arrested Thursday night, crucified Friday morning, and rises on Sunday (as confirmed by Luke).

Both theories agree that Wednesday was the day that the Passover had to be killed that year (and historical moon data also confirms this).

A key point to be aware of in this matter, is that the national Passover observed by Israel, was based on the Babylonian calender (sighting of the first crescent). However, the true Passover established by God, is actually counted from the new moon, not from the first crescent. Historical records confirm this conflicting way of dating, as for example the following quote from Constantine;
"They [the Jews] do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for in their blindness and repugnance to all improvement, they frequently celebrate two Passovers in the same year. (Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib iii., 18-20)

Moon cycles confirm that in 30 AD the Passover had to be killed on the Wednesday just before sunset. On this day, Jesus kept the true Passover with His disciples; whereas Israel kept the Jewish national Passover (based on the first crescent of the moon method), 2 days later on Friday.
However, the Passover had to be kept on the exact day of the 14th (based on a new moon); according to the Mosaic covenant; it was sin to keep it any other day;
Num 9:2 Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season.
Num 9:3 In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.
If someone was unclean or on a journey, they were permitted to keep Passover on the 14th of the second month;
Num 9:13 But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.

For Jesus to be without sin, would He have kept it on the correct day?
Would He have kept a 'mock' Passover a day early, because He knew that He had to die on the actual Passover day? No, as this would be sin.

The following verses show that it is impossible that Jesus died the day, when the true Passover was supposed to be killed;
Luk 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
(This is speaking of the actual Passover, not a one-day early mock Passover. According to moon data, this is Wednesday. Remember the Passover lamb was killed at twilight this day. For Jesus to die on time for the Wednesday theory, He had to die this same day. However notice that He does not die this day);
Luk 22:8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat....
Luk 22:11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?...
Luk 22:13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. (by killing a lamb. If Jesus was to die on time, now is when it needs to happen).
Luk 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
Luk 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
(it is now night time; Wednesday night our time. Jesus is now eating the Passover, and has missed dieing on the right day for the Wednesday theory! In keeping with the law of the Passover, Jesus and His disciples do not leave the upper room until daybreak. The following night [ie, Thursday night by our calender] He is arrested, and crucified the Friday day, when the national Passover lambs were being killed).

Israel's lambs were killed Friday (which conforms to the Friday crucifixion account), and this is 2 days after the apostles killed the Passover shared by Jesus at the correct time (based on God's calender).

Just as to not partake in the Passover on the correct day was a sin; it was also a sin to leave the room before sunrise;
Exo 12:22 ...and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. ...
Exo 12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever.

The Bible tells us that Jesus did no sin; so He would have kept the Passover ordinances correctly.

Remember how Judas left the upper room early;
Joh 13:30 "As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night...."
John indicates "it was night", to emphasise the fact that Judas violated the Passover ordinance by leaving the upper room during the night.
The law required everyone to stay indoors until first light.

Another point.
Based on God's calender, Wednesday was Passover; Thursday was a Holy Convocation.
Based on the Babylonian calender, Friday was Passover; and Sabbath was a Holy Convocation.
Jesus observed the first one, on Wednesday.
The majority of Jews observed the national Passover on Friday.
For the Wednesday crucifixion theory, Thursday is a Holy Convocation.
For a Friday crucifixion, Saturday (Sabbath) was the Jews national Holy Convocation.

Unlike the true Passover Jesus ate with His disciples 2 days earlier; John tells us clearly that the national Passover the Jews were keeping, fell on Friday; and the first Holy Convocation fell on a Saturday;
Joh 19:14-15 And it was the preparation of the (National) passover (Friday), and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him....
Joh 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was a high day,) (meaning the first Holy Convocation day fell on the weekly Sabbath)

Now some teach that a 'high day' refers to any of the yearly feast days.
Others teach that a 'high day' refers to when a feast day falls on the weekly Sabbath.
I base my conclusion on this matter on common logic.
If all feast days were known as 'high days', then why on earth would John mention it in the way he did?
Why didn't he just say it was the feast day (if all Jews understood that all the feasts were called high days). It just wouldn't make sense to mention it. It would be like me saying that this Sunday falls on a weekend.
He specifically says that sabbath day was a high day; indicating a difference to other Sabbaths.

Another point.
In the Wednesday crucifixion theory, Jesus died Wednesday, making Thursday a Holy Convocation (Sabbath of rest). Friday however was a normal day, in which the followers of Jesus had 24 hours to embalm Jesus' body before the arrival of the weekly Sabbath. Remember, the women prepared the spices the day of Jesus' death;
Luk 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid.
Luk 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
So if the above Sabbath is Thursday, and they missed the opportunity to deal with Jesus' body Friday; then Sunday would be their next opportunity to perform this task.

Remember for a Wednesday crucifixion, Sunday is the 5th day (based on how God reckons time).
However, Lazarus was said to be too stinky to open the tomb on the 4th day (Joh 11:17).
It seems very unlikely that the followers of Christ would have missed the opportunity to work on His body Friday; knowing (in their minds), that it would be well decayed by the time they got to it on the 5th day (Sunday).
Remember; they were not aware that Jesus' body was not actually undergoing any decay; as far as they were concerned, He was decomposing like any other corpse.

To avoid this problem, some twist the wording of Scripture to imply that the women bought spices both before and after the Thursday feast day; and having to buy and prepare them Friday, is why they didn't attempt to access Jesus' body that day.
However, we need to look at the wording carefully.
In Luke, the women watched where Jesus was laid Friday afternoon, they returned home (bought) and prepared spices, then rested the weekly Sabbath. Very early Sunday morning they brought the spices, which they had previously bought and prepared.
Notice how this works;
Luk 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid.
Luk 23:56 And they returned (Friday afternoon), and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Luk 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing (ie, not buying) the spices which they had (previously) prepared, and certain others with them.

With the Wednesday theory, we are expected to believe that verse 23:56 is Wednesday, and then the very next verse jumps 4 days to 'the first day of the week'; Sunday!

Mark is in perfect harmony with Luke in the Friday account. The women beheld where Jesus was laid Friday afternoon; then after the weekly Sabbath, they brought the spices to the tomb, which they had bought and prepared Friday;
Mar 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid, (Friday afternoon, before Sabbath began)
Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices (past tense, ie, they did this Friday afternoon, as confirmed by Luke), that they might come and anoint him.

There is no contradiction in this.
The Greek word for had bought (G59) can be used in either tense (past or present).
Below is confirmation it can be used as past tense;
Luk 14:19 And another said, I have boughtG59 five yoke of oxen,
1Co 7:23 Ye are boughtG59 with a price;…

These verses only make sense as past tense.
Past tense is clearly the intended tense in the Mark verse; otherwise how could they arrive at the tomb very early in the morning, if after sunrise they had to first buy and then prepare the spices.
It doesn't fit.

As we have seen with all the other evidence against a Wednesday crucifixion, often the simple clear meaning is the correct one. If we twist things to try and make it say what we want it to be saying; we only create conflict and confusion.
On the Friday, the day of the crucifixion, they bought the spices and prepared them; then rested according to the 4th commandment;
Luk 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

This brings us to another point.
To summarise another aspect of the two options;
- The Wednesday theory says that the 'resting the Sabbath day' after Jesus' death, was Thursday the 15th, the First Holy Convocation of the festive week. These Holy Convocations were also referred to as 'Sabbaths'.
- The Friday theory says that the 'resting the Sabbath day' after Jesus' death, was simply the weekly Sabbath, which coincided with the first Holy Convocation being kept by the Jews, based on the Babylonian calender.

Now let's address the issue.
The following verse tells us that Jesus' followers rested according to the 4th commandment;
Luk 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

The Wednesday theory makes this 'Sabbath day' Thursday; the First Holy Convocation / feast day.
However, the Sabbath day referred to here, is speaking of the weekly Sabbath.
'Sabbath day' is from the Greek word; G4521.
In every New Testament example, G4521 refers only to the weekly Sabbath.

If it is referring to a feast day Sabbath, in every case it uses a different word; G1859;
Mar 14:2 But they said, Not on theG3588 feastG1859 day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
Joh 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in theG3588 feastG1859 day, many believed in his name,…

So if Luke 23:56 above is not referring to the weekly Sabbath, but to the feast day; then it would have used G1859, rather than G4521.

We find this same problem in Mark with the Wednesday theory;
Mar 15:42-43 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea,… craved the body of Jesus…

Wednesday theorists say the above Sabbath is the Thursday feast day. Yet a couple of verses later, they claim that 'the Sabbath' has now changed to speak of the Saturday;
Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

Because Mark speaks of 'the Sabbath' in verse 42, it seems strange that he would again in verse 1 refer to 'the Sabbath'; not clarifying that this is actually supposed to be a different Sabbath.
The fact is, Mark is referring to the same Sabbath; they both use G4521, always meaning the weekly Sabbath.

Another point
It is commonly accepted that the closer you get to the origin of a story; the more dependable the information would be.
For example; if I told someone to "collect the eggs"; after being relayed through 20 people, it could end up being stated that I had said to "buy some pegs".
If the Wednesday theory is true, historical records should be full of discussion on this fact.
But how far back can we go until this Wednesday theory disappears?
And looking at it from the other end, what were the early historians, who lived right at that time recording?
My searches have revealed that Wednesday is a relatively new theory, and doesn't appear in any early historical writings.
However, to conform to the account we looked at earlier in Luke; Josephus provides another powerful testimony, that Jesus appeared to the apostles on the third day, being the first of the week;
…for He (Jesus) appeared to them alive again the Third day, as the divine prophets had foretold…
Antiquities, book 18, Ch 3, sect 3.

So Josephus confirms that Jesus appeared to the Apostles on the third day.
To accommodate a Wednesday crucifixion, Jesus would have had to appear to the apostles on the Friday; to not make Josephus a liar. And even if you disregard how Jesus defines time; He would still have had to appear to the apostles on the Sabbath instead, in order to maintain harmony with this witness.

Let's look at some more early Historian quotations:

In the Didascalia, an early church writing, it says;

"The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the holy scriptures, and the oblation, because on the first day of the week (ie, Sunday) our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven". (Didascalia 2. A.D. 225)

Victorinius, in his The Creation of the World wrote;

"The sixth day (Friday) is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom….On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast". (Victorinius, The Creation of the World. A.D.300)

Following is an interesting collection of quotations in 'The Feasts of the Lord' by Bruce R. Booker, page 134;

…Josephus, the first century historian (wrote);
"But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them".
(Josephus, Flavius, Antiquities of the Jews 3.10.5)
That our Lord rose on the Sadducees' observance of the feast (Sunday), gives credence to that position: "Besides the substantiation that Yeshua rose from the dead on Sunday, and He is called 'the firstfruits of those that rise from the dead', it can be established from Leviticus 23 that the Sadducees were correct".
(Good, Joseph, Rosh HaShanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come, page 24)
…Messiah must be risen from the dead on First Fruits (Sunday)….
But how was the Messiah our firstfruits? Jesus rose again on the third day (literally, the third day of the Passover season, Nissan 16), on the day of the Firstfruits (Sunday).

Historians aside; to me, there is really no debate on which day Jesus died.
The following verses HAVE TO all be saying the same thing;
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah 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.
Mat 20:19 …and the third day he shall rise again.
Mat 26:61 ....I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.' "
Mar 8:31 ...he must be killed and after three days rise again.

The Bible does not contradict itself. All of the above verses have to have the SAME meaning.
If we try and make the first verse say something different to the other three, we create contradiction within Scripture.
We may have decided in our own minds what '3 days and 3 nights' means to us. However, we need to consider what it means to God. Although what it means to God is not specifically defined in Scripture, thankfully, God does give us the clear meaning of third day in Scripture, so we are not left guessing.
Scripture confirms that Jesus appeared to the Apostles on the third day. This would be Friday in the case of a Wednesday crucifixion. He did not appear to the Apostles on a Friday (or even a Saturday)!

I hope you can see that my goal here has simply been to produce harmony with everything the Bible says on this subject.
This method of creating harmony, is an important rule for any topic; in order to arrive at Bible truth. If we ignore any conflicts our beliefs create with Scripture; we are only fooling ourselves.
May God bless you all as you seek to study and understand the ways of God,