Please always bear in mind that "...The Scripture cannot be broken/destroyed." John 10:35
The key to understanding of the Holy Scriptures is to let the Scriptures interpret the scripture. The holy scriptures have interlocking prophecies which can act as the mechanism to prevent any misinterpretation or alteration of the Holy Scriptures.
The rise and fall of any prophet is to fulfill the sign or miracle which has been spoken by the Prophet concerned. Lord Jesus Christ took up the challenge of the Scribes and Pharisees who asked Him for a sign.
MKJV Mat 12:39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall be no sign given to it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah.
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
The Apostles of Lord Jesus Christ are basically from Galilee who are of Jewish descent. They understood the idiom of the Jews. There is no reason for the apostles to remain faithful to Lord Jesus Christ should they found Him to fail this particular prophecy. Then which day is the Crucifixion Day of the Lord Jesus Christ?
There are different schools of thoughts which claims Wednesday or Thursday or Friday as the exact day of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. All these different days of crucifixion does not nullify the fact that the crucifixion of Lord Jesus Christ did not take place. God has given us the absolute test to determine if a person has the Spirit of God.
If one can confess Jesus Christ, the Son of God has come in the Flesh as God incarnate, for the purpose to redeem the world from sins through His death, resurrection and ascension, then in my view there should be some degree of tolerance for those who hold contrary positions (Eph 4:3-4; Col 3:14).
"By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the antichrist you heard is coming, and even now is already in the world. " 1st John 4:2-3
"Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God." 1Jn 4:15
How did the Jews reckon the three days and three nights that Jonah was in the belly of the whale, so shall the Lord Jesus be in the heart of the earth?
Let's take a different approach to this particular sign in Matthew 12:40. There is a common misconception here regarding the "heart of the earth". Everyone's assuming that means the tomb; but if you let the Scripture explain itself, nowhere else in the Bible is the heart of the earth called the tomb. For example, as in Matthew 6:10 Lord Jesus taught us how to pray: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in Heaven" – that's how the King James renders it – does that mean Thy will be done in the tomb?
Satan has deceived many people to fall into his trap when doubters spread lies about the Holy Scripture is altered alleging it is mathematically in error thereby making Lord Jesus Christ looks like He was lying. Bear in mind, "It is written, the Scripture cannot be broken." The fault lies with the misinterpretation of scriptures and not with the alteration of scripture. Often times the critics have been proven wrong due to their own misunderstanding of the Holy Scriptures.
When Lord Jesus said "for the prince of this world comes" - John 14:30, He was speaking of Satan, the Devil. When Lord Jesus said as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish or the whale, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, He wasn't referring to the tomb or vault. He was talking about His captivity by the Satanic Powers of Darkness from the heart of the earth, which influence the people in the world to carry out the assignments.
When one dies, the Devil will exert his claim over the dead body as in the case of Prophet Moses, Archangel Michael was contending with the Devil for the body of Moses.
Jude 1:9 "Yet Michael the Archangel, when contending with the Devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."
One can check through the Gospel, every time the mob tried to destroy Lord Jesus or stone Lord Jesus or throw Him off a cliff through His whole Ministry, He was untouchable. He walked right through their midst, He disappeared, He became invisible; they were unable to harm Him in any way because He was under His Father's protection. But commencing from the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night when He said specifically, "... this is your hour, and the Power of Darkness" - Luke 22:53. Then the mob was able to tie Him up, they beat Him, and He began suffering for the sins of the world.
Hence Lord Jesus Christ was held captive on Thursday night by the Power of Darkness. He didn't start suffering for the sins of the world when He was nailed on the Cross and the nails pierced His flesh. The suffering began in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He was arrested and taken from place to place and beaten and mobbed.
Lord Jesus Christ was taken from Pilate to Herod and back to Pilate again. He went from Caiaphas to Anna and back to Caiaphas and – He was just dragged all over the place during that period – and being mocked and whipped and thorns on His head and, He was suffering for the sins of the world. He was a captive to the Devil the same way Jonah went wherever the whale went.
Jonah was a captive to the whale. He was in that dark, hopeless environment for three days and three nights the same way that Jesus was held captive by the Power of Darkness, the Devil, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), for three days and three nights.
When Lord Jesus Christ prayed the third time, 'Not my will Thy will be done', and He said to His disciples you can sleep on because now is the hour of darkness – He made it very clear – this is the starting point. It was the time the mob was able to arrest Him and lead Him away from the Garden of Gethsemane. He told Peter put away your sword; this is why I came into the world. The suffering of the Messiah started on the night He was mocked and bruised or beaten (Luke 22:63).
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed.
From Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night He was taking the penalty for our sins, which is punishment and death, not just death – punishment and death. And He suffered and He died, starting Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday. So that's the crux of that misunderstanding. It has nothing to do with the tomb or grave.
Hence Lord Jesus was held captive by the Romans since Thursday night and then by the Devil of this world until His resurrection as the first fruit on the first day of the week. According to Jewish reckoning of time, the number of days and nights are shown as follows:-
Thursday - 1 Night (Likely 10PM to 6AM)
Friday - 1 Day & 1 Night (6AM to 6AM)
Saturday - 1 Day & 1 Night (6AM to 6AM)
Sunday - 1 Day (Before 7AM the tomb was empty)
Galilean Hebrews Time starts at 6AM to 6PM for the Day and 6PM to 6AM for the Night; any part of the day or night can be reckoned as 1 day or 1 night.
Which day of the week is the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ?
Luke 24:1 And on the First of the Sabbaths, while still very early, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
Luke 24:4 And as they were much perplexed about it, it happened that, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed their faces down to the earth, they said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Luke 24:6 HE IS NOT HERE, BUT HAS RISEN. Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,
Luke 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?
On the same day of resurrection, 2 of the disciples went from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus.
Luke 24:13 And behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, it being about sixty stadia from Jerusalem.
Luke 24:19 And He said to them, WHAT THINGS? And they said to Him, The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a man, a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
Luke 24:20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the judgment of death, and have crucified Him.
Luke 24:21 But we had trusted that He was the One who was about to redeem Israel. And besides all this, TODAY is the THIRD DAY since These Things were done.
"The Scripture cannot be broken". It is obvious that the 3 days is inclusive of the things on "how the Chief Priests and our Rulers delivered Him to the judgment of death, and have crucified Him" - Luke 24:20 and not reckoning from the time the corpse of the Lord Jesus was placed in the tomb. This rectifies the misinterpretation of the Scripture that "the heart of the earth" means the tomb.
Mat 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The Major Feasts of the Jews will be able to determine perfectly which days the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, died, risen and ascended to Heaven.
1. Lord Jesus Christ held the Feast of the Passover based on Galilean Calendar which starts the day at 6AM whereas the Jews followed the Temple Calendar which starts the day at 6PM.
Mark 14:12 And the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said to Him, Where do You desire that we go and prepare that You may eat the passover?
The Jews held the Passover at the following day after the Galileans celebrated the Passover.
John 18:39 But you have a custom that I should release one to you at the Passover. Then do you desire that I release to you the king of the Jews?
John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, Behold your king!
John 19:31 Then the Jews, because it was Preparation, begged Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath. For that Sabbath was a high day.
2. Paul demonstrated that Christ had risen, and thus made the resurrection of the dead inevitable. The Israelites were to offer to God a sheaf of the first grain that was harvested on the day after the Sabbath following the Passover feast (Leviticus 23:9-14).
As the firstfruits of the dead, Lord Jesus Christ must be risen on the day after the Sabbath which is Sunday.
1Cor 15:20 But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruit of those who slept.
1Cor 15:21 For since death is through man, the resurrection of the dead also is through a Man.
1Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive.
Lord Jesus Christ was the first to rise from the dead—never to die again. All who have ever arisen from the dead, including the sons of both the widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:8-37), the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:35-43), Lazarus, et al., died in later years. Jesus, however, accurately could be called "the firstfruits" of the dead because "Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him" (Romans 6:9).
All others who previously were raised at one time, died again, and are among those who "sleep" and continue to wait for the bodily resurrection; only Jesus has truly conquered death. In this sense, Christ is "the firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5; cf. Acts 26:23).
Paul used the term "firstfruits" in this letter to the Corinthian church to reinforce the certainty of the resurrection. Just as the term "firstfruits" indicates that "the first sheaf of the forthcoming grain harvest will be followed by the rest of the sheaves, Christ, the firstfruits raised from the dead, is the guarantee for all those who belong to him that they also will share in his resurrection" Lord Jesus is God's "firstfruits" of the resurrection.
3. The Feast of the Pentecost - 50th day from the feast of firstfruits after 7 Sabbaths.
On this day of Pentecost all the male Jews will attend the feast in Jerusalem. It was on the day of Pentecost that the promise of the Holy Spirit came to baptize all the apostles and disciples of Lord Jesus Christ.
"And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD" (Lev. 23:15-16).
The word "Pentecost" comes from the Greek word for the "fiftieth day." "Pente" is Greek for five. It is called "Shavout," the Feast of Weeks (Exod. 34:22; Deut. 16:9-11) and the Feast of Harvest (Exod. 23:16) of the Day of the First Fruits (Num. 28:26).
"And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end (Ex. 34:22) .
Acts 2:1 And in the fulfilling of the day of PENTECOST, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:2 And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven as borne along by the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed; and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:5 And dwelling at Jerusalem there were Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven.
Based on these reference points namely Feast of Unleavened Bread Day, Passover Day, High Sabbath, Firstfruits Day, Pentecost Day, the day of crucifixion can be worked out to the exact Day.
1. Feast of Unleavened Bread & Passover occurs on the 14th Day of the month.
2. High Sabbath is when the 7th Sabbath day coincides with the New Year or the Passover Feast. It must be a Saturday.
3. Firstfruits Feast must occur after the Sabbath day which is Sunday.
4. Pentecost Day is 50th Day from the day of the Firstfruits Feast and it falls on the day after the 7th Sabbath, which must be a Sunday.
1) WEDNESDAY CRUCIFIXION IS UNSCRIPTURAL
The Scripture cannot be broken. By working backwards from the day of Pentecost, the crucifixion day cannot falls on Wednesday.
2) THURSDAY CRUCIFIXION HAS SOME DIFFICULTIES
As for Thursday Crucifixion, the High Sabbath mentioned in John 19:31 "For that sabbath was a high day" cannot be accounted for as ordinary Passover Sabbath. It must coincide with the 7th day Sabbath to qualify as the High Sabbath i.e. one of the annual holy days, or feast days coincide with weekly Sabbath.
Another major difficulty to the Thursday crucifixion is "the third day" of Luke 24:21, which if used in the normal inclusive fashion seems to reach back only to Friday.
3) FRIDAY CRUCIFIXION - BEST CHOICE
# Mary prepares spices she already had on Friday (Lk 23:56), then Sunday (literally after sundown Saturday night Roman time) She bought more spices. (Mk 16:1)
# Lk 23:49 tell us that the women were at the foot of the cross: "And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things." Then notice that Mary followed Joseph of Arimathea when he buried Jesus "followed after [Joseph of Arimathea when he buried Jesus], and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes." Lk 23:50-56. This proves that Mary prepared the spices in Lk 23 ON THE SAME DAY JESUS WAS BURIED.
# The truth is that the women began mixing spices on the same day Jesus was crucified but ran out of time. Then with all day Saturday to think about it, went out after the Sabbath was over as sunset (our Saturday 6PM) bought more spices, prepared the whole batch, had a full night sleep Saturday night (being exhausted from being up for almost 24 hours straight; from arrest to burial), then they got up early Sunday morning and went to the tomb. They found it empty except for the burial linen clothes of JESUS were still lying therein.