In Matthew 12:40 Jesus said, 'For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' Based on this straightforward declaration by Jesus Himself, we believe it is far more likely that He died on Thursday rather than Friday. He would have been buried before sundown Thursday (see John 19:31). That would have been day 1. Thursday night would have been night 1. Friday was day 2, and Friday night, night 2. Saturday would have been day 3. And since Jesus had already risen by the time dawn arrived on Sunday morning, He could have arisen anytime during the night, which have been night 3 (see Matthew 28:1). This scenario makes more sense to us than the traditional Good Friday story. Furthermore, the Friday after the crucifixion was a holy day connected with Passover and Saturday was the regular Sabbath, which explains why the women did not return to the tomb until Sunday morning.