Many people accept the traditional view of a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection without thinking about the significant issues with this view.
First, Jesus mentions in Matthew 12:39-40 that He would give no sign except the sign of Jonah. The sign is that He was going to be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights just like Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster or whale for three days and three nights. The traditional view of a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection does not account for three full days in-between. Yet, that can be excused if we equate part a day with a full day. However, the traditional view simply cannot account for a third night. I believe that Jesus was clear when He mentioned that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
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; 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. (Matthew 12:39-40, NASB)
Second, the traditional view presents an obvious contradiction in the Gospel accounts. Mark mentions that the women who wanted to anoint Jesus’ body bought spices after the Sabbath was over. On the other hand, Luke mentions that the women prepared spices and perfumes prior to the Sabbath.
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. (Mark 16:1, NASB)
Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. (Luke 23:56, NASB)
The apparent contradiction is resolved when one understand that two Sabbaths were at-play. John 19:31 mentions that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for a high Sabbath. If we look at the seven festivals in Leviticus 23, we see that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread following the Passover was an annual Sabbath or High Sabbath.
Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (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, NASB)
On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. (Leviticus 23:7, NASB)
Therefore, the timeline I am persuaded by is encapsulated in this article and it’s related articles. An illustration of the timeline: (Link). (Note: I am not advocating for UCG in any way as the organization holds beliefs contrary to mainline Protestantism, but the articles on this topic seem decent.)
Some verses are interpreted to mean that Jesus rose on the first day of the week which would be Sunday. However, it is clear that these verses only indicate that the women came to the sepulchre on the first day of the week. Jesus was already risen when the women came to the sepulchre. As per Matthew 28:1, the women came “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” so Jesus rose prior to the first day of the week, which should be clear given the timeline mention above. Of all the verses, Mark 16:9 in some translations say “Now when Jesus was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to…”. However, the verse would better be rendered as “Now when Jesus was risen early, on the first day of the week he appeared first to…” Furthermore, Mark 16:9-20 does not appear in the oldest and most reliable manuscripts, which means it should not be considered Scripture.
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. (Matthew 28:1, NASB)
Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. (Mark 16:2, NASB)
[Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. (Mark 16:9, NASB)
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. (Luke 24:1, NASB)
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. (John 10:1, NASB)
I believe that Jesus died at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, April 25th, 31 AD. But most importantly, He fulfilled the Sign of Jonah by rising from the dead near sunset on Saturday.