I was doing some work at a store recently when the proprietor said, “Good Friday, I wonder why they call it GOOD Friday. Have you ever thought about that?” I said, “Yes, I have, and I wonder why they call it Friday.” She asked what I meant by that, and I told her Jesus could not possibly have been crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning. Matthew 12:40 is very clear:
Mathew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Even if we were to count any part of a day as a day and any part of a night as a night, there are not three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. I suppose the idea of Friday comes from the fact that the next day was a Sabbath.
John 19: 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Notice, however, that this was not the usual weekly Sabbath. It was a “high day” Sabbath. It was a special Sabbath. Notice also that the day Jesus was crucified was “the preparation.” That was the day before Passover, when the sacrificial lamb and other things were being prepared. Passover was a Sabbath, a special Sabbath. It was observed on the 15’Th day of Nisan each year regardless of what day of the week it fell on.
So on what day of the week was Jesus crucified and buried? It was on a Wednesday, the 14’Th of Nisan. The next day was Passover, the 15’Th of Nisan, falling on a Thursday that year. The next day, Friday, the women prepared the spices and such they would need for a proper burial. The following day was the weekly Saturday Sabbath. The women could not do the work that day, so they came when the Sabbath was over. They did not see Jesus get up. They saw an empty tomb. Jesus had risen some time Saturday afternoon, three days and three nights from Wednesday afternoon when he was buried.
Good Friday? Well, it was certainly good for us though not for Jesus. But it wasn’t Friday.