Mind you, this is just a theory of mine. It is my goal to try to correlate Scripture. If any of this upsets you, I don't find it anything worth fighting for, so, please, simply let it go. On the other hand, if you enjoy trying to piece together puzzles and are willing to set aside some long-held ideas that may not be right, well, this might be fun.
In Matt. 12:40, Jesus makes a statement about His death and resurrection:
"For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."Now, the normal person, when asked when Jesus died and rose again, will tell you that He died on Friday and rose again on Sunday. This is a problem for me because this isn't "three days and three nights." I know, I know, the standard answer is "Well, the Hebrews measured days from sundown to sundown, so Friday-Saturday-Sunday would be three days." That's all well and good ... but it's not three nights by any measure. So I'm a little bit confused.
So I took a different approach. What do we know? We know that the women found Him alive on "the first day of the week." Okay, good, a time reference. Jesus was discovered alive on Sunday. Funny thing. Beyond that, we know very little. There are references to "the next day" in a variety of places regarding the last week of Jesus's life, but there are holes in the time line and little is certain. The primary reason that we believe that Jesus died on a Friday was that it says that they wanted to bury Him before sundown because the Sabbath was the next day. That's about all we have to go on. So I tried to piece together a possible time line taking into account what we do know.
Working backward from Sunday, we know that "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). They prepared spices then rested on the Sabbath. Mark says something different. "When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him" (Mark 16:1). So, it appears that women bought the spices on the day after the Sabbath, prepared them, then waited for the Sabbath. That means that there would be a Crucifixion and burial, a Sabbath, a day after the Sabbath, a Sabbath, and the first day of the week. That would mean that Jesus died on a Wednesday, not a Friday.
This is reasonable. This gives us three days and three nights. He died on a Wednesday afternoon and was buried by the evening. Wednesday night is night #1, Thursday is day #1, Thursday night is night #2, Friday is day #2, Friday night is night #3, and Saturday is day #3. Jesus rose the sometime after sundown Saturday evening. This fits. Unfortunately, this pushes back "Good Friday" to "Good Wednesday". It puts the Triumphal Entry on a Friday rather than a Sunday. Well, it moves "Holy Week" to "Holy Week and a half".
But, wait, is there any reason to think that there would be a Sabbath, a day, and a Sabbath? Well, indeed, there is. Biblically, the Passover falls on the 14th of Nisan. That is, the paschal meal (which we know as "the Last Supper") takes place on the 14th of Nisan. This starts a 7-day feast called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Oh, and, as it happens, the day after the 14th of Nisan is "a High Sabbath" (Lev 23:5-7). Now, if the 14th of Nisan falls on a Wednesday, Thursday would be a High Sabbath, Friday would be the second day of the feast (but not a Sabbath), and Saturday would be the normal Sabbath. There we have it -- the exact combination needed to account for Mark's and Luke's accounts and give us exactly what Jesus said would happen.
What changes if we do this? Well, as far as I can tell, just a few traditions. Oh ... and Scripture aligns and agrees. Yeah, that's a good thing. I like it. It's just a theory, but I like it.
As a side note, commenters back then pointed out that April 6th, 30AD would be a Wednesday and would exactly align with all that I wrote here. Just interesting ... nothing more.