Everyone knows that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, right? And throughout the centuries we have always remembered His crucifixion on the Friday before Easter Sunday. But is that correct? Does the Bible support a Friday crucifixion? Or do the Feasts of the Lord point to another day? And what about Jesus' words? Is it possible the crucifixion was on Wednesday or Thursday? What does the Bible reveal? The biblical evidence for a Friday crucifixion is very weak. The primary support for it comes from this verse:
"And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath." (Mark 15:42)
Remember that the Jewish day began with the evening hours (at nightfall) and lasted until the end of the daylight hours (signified by nightfall of the next day). Therefore, the Jews weekly Sabbath began at nightfall on Saturday (which we would consider Friday night) and lasted until the end of the daytime hours on Saturday (which the Jews would consider the beginning of Sunday). It’s important to understand that their day was marked by "evening and morning" just as God declared it in creation (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23 31).
Every Sabbath had a day of preparation on the preceding day. It was a day to prepare for the coming Sabbath so no work would be done on that day. Mark 15:42 tells us that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. However, there are other Sabbaths in addition to the weekly Sabbath. The word "sabbath" means rest and God declared rest for His people with weekly Sabbaths and seven additional Holy Days of Convocation. Collectively, these Sabbaths are called “seasons” (Gen 1:14) or God’s appointed times (Leviticus 23:2) and they include:
52 weekly Sabbaths 7 days of Passover 1 Shavout, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) 1 Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) 1 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) 7 days of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) 1 Shimini Atzeret (8th Day of Assembly) = 70 Sabbaths
The early church considered the reference to the Sabbath in Mark 15:42 to mean the weekly Sabbath and, since Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation, they assumed it to have taken place on Friday afternoon. The error in this logic is that the Sabbath referred to in Mark 15 is not the weekly Sabbath. It is clearly the Feast of Unleavened Bread, one the seven Holy Days of Passover.
This Feast of Unleavened Bread is also known as the Feast of the Passover, which was celebrated in remembrance of the Israelites being delivered from Egyptian bondage. This feast is set on Nisan 15 (Leviticus 23:6), which could fall on any day of the week. This feast day is a High Sabbath (a day of rest), also called a High Day and it was preceded with a day of preparation.