I have often wondered what day of the week Jesus died. I believe it was on a Friday, the day before the weekly Jewish Sabbath. However, others claim Jesus died on a Wednesday. They claim that the Sabbath that followed the day of the crucifixion was not referring to the weekly Sabbath, but a so-called annual Sabbath, namely the first day of Unleavened Bread that falls on the first month of the Jewish calendar. Those who believe Jesus died on Thursday claim the same thing, that the Sabbath that followed the crucifixion was not the weekly Sabbath but the annual Sabbath (Nisan 15).
For support, those that believe it was the annual Sabbath quote John 19:31 where the Sabbath is called a high day. This, they assure us, refers to the Jewish Nisan 15 Sabbath and not the weekly Sabbath.
31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath ([a]for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. - John 19:31
They also quote John 19:14 which states the day of the crucifixion was the preparation of the Passover. The Preparation of the Passover, they claim, is Nisan 14.
14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the [a]sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” - John 19:14
The Preparation of the Passover was the day when the homes had to be cleansed of all leaven, which required cleaning and inspection, and preparations for the meal that followed when the sun set on Nisan 14.
There is also the claim that Jesus would be in "the heart of the earth" for three days and three nights. See Matthew 12:38-40:
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a [a]sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Now simple math would dictate that if the "heart of the earth" referred to the subterranean region of Sheol (Hades in the Greek scriptures) then Jesus could not have died on a Friday, the traditional view. That's because the scriptures claim Jesus was resurrected from the dead when the women came to the tomb on the predawn morning hours on the first day of the week.
28 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. - Matthew 28:1-8
16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. - Mark 16:1-6
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, - Luke 24:1-6
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. - John 20:1-9
All four accounts relate this as happening on the first day of the week. So, how could Jesus have been crucified on a Wednesday? Elsewhere the Bible mentions many times that Jesus would rise on the third day. If Wednesday was the first day of Jesus's death, then Friday would be the third day, and if Jesus died on Thursday, then that would be the first day of Jesus's death and the third day would be on Saturday.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. - Matthew 16:21
22 And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved. - Matthew 17:22-23
18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be [a]delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” - Matthew 20:18-20
21 But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” - Luke 9:21-22
32 For He will be [a]handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” 34 But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said. - Luke 18:32-34
6 He is not here, but He has [a]risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” - Luke 24:6-7
But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. - Luke 24:21
and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, - Luke 24:26
Mark, on the other hand, writes that the resurrection would occur "after three days" or "three days later".
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. - Mark 8:31
31 For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be [a]delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.” -Mark 9:31
34 They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.” - Mark 10:34
Furthermore, some scriptures say "in three days."
60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the [a]temple of God and to rebuild it [b]in three days.’” 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” - Matthew 26:60-62
39 And those passing by were [a]hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, - Matthew 27:39-41
“We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” - Mark 14:58
Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, - Mark 15:29
And, in John 2:18-21 we have:
18 The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
Is there any way to reconcile these accounts?
By the way, all my scripture quotes are from the NASB 1995 edition.