The date of Jesus' death supposed contradiction
This is a response to the above question made by Firebirdofmercy. He asks about the timing of Jesus's death and when the High Day Sabbath was observed.
First off, there was no High Day Sabbath at the time the Bible was written. That was an invention of the Pharisaic Jews late in the Second Temple period, some time after Jesus had ascended into heaven, most probably after the destruction of the Temple and before the writings of the Talmuds. In the Hebrew Scriptures there were no references to a "high day" Sabbath. In John 19:31 the author described the day as "great" (megales in the Greek) and in John 7:37 he refers to the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles as a great day. This day later became known as "The Last Great Day" by Sabbath keeping Churches of God. The Jews later referred to these "great" days as "high days" in the Talmuds and normative Judaism.
Jesus died on Friday afternoon the day before the weekly Sabbath and the first day of Unleavened Bread, which that year fell on the weekly Sabbath. John calls that Sabbath a great day because it was one of the seven annual holy convocations that coincided with the weekly Sabbath the weekend Jesus died.
The KJV translators, when they translated the Bible from Greek to English, used the Jewish term "high day" for the great day in John 19:31. There is nothing wrong with that though because after most of the Jews had been calling these "great" feast days as high days for centuries. Most modern translations render it as "high day" as well.
At the time Jesus lived on earth there were two major parties in the Jewish world. One of them were the Sadducees who held to the scriptural reckoning of the waving of the Omer which followed the first weekly Sabbath of Passover week. This waving of the Omer was important because it was day one of the fifty day countdown to Shavuot (Pentecost) which began and ended up on Sunday, the day after the seventh Sabbath.
Read Leviticus 23:11 for the timing of the waving of the Omer and read Leviticus 23:15-16 that places the 50th day as the day after the seventh Sabbath, hence also a Sunday. The Pharisees held the erroneous reckoning of the Septuagint translation, which was actually a mistranslation of Leviticus 23:11 where it changed the waving of the Omer from the day after the weekly Sabbath to the day after the first day of Unleavened Bread. Hence, the Pharisees started their countdown from Nisan 16 every year. In the modern Jewish calendar the 50th day from Nisan 16 is Sivan 6.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, there are eight holy convocations in the Jewish year. You can read about them in Leviticus 23. One of them is the weekly Sabbath, mentioned in verse 3. It forbids ALL work and is called a Sabbath. There is one of the seven annual holy convocations that forbids ALL work and that day is called a Sabbath too. That one is the Day of Atonement and it forbids ALL work.
The other six holy convocations forbid only servile work and they are never called Sabbaths in the Hebrew Scriptures. Nisan 15 is not a Sabbath. This must be understood when you are taking into account that Jesus died on the day before the Sabbath (Mark 15:42). John 19:31 claims the Sabbath that followed Jesus's death was a high day. All that means is the Nisan 15 high day fell on the weekly Sabbath. Nisan 15 was not a Sabbath by itself but it fell on the weekly Sabbath the week Jesus died.
If I told you that this Thursday was a holiday would that mean Thursday itself was a holiday or that a holiday fell on Thursday? Some sincere, well meaning Christians claim it was Nisan 15 that was the Sabbath John was referring to but that simply is not true. Nisan 15 is not called a Sabbath anywhere in Scripture. The Pharisees called it a Sabbath and they have done that since the first century CE rabbis codified it in the Talmuds and it has been a Jewish tradition every since. Jesus died on a Friday. For more on this, see the following link to a more in depth discussion on whether Nisan 15 is a Sabbath or not.
can Nisan 15 be referred to as "the sabbath"?
I hope this helps. Jesus died on a Friday afternoon and resurrected on Sunday morning, the third day. Friday was the first day of Jesus's death, Saturday was the second day of his death and Sunday was the third day of his death. He resurrected on the third day, just as he declared many times during his ministry on earth.
A final word for those that believe Nisan 15 was a Sabbath (and all the other holy convocations) just turn to your Bible and read Leviticus 23. Some good versions to use are the NASB 1995 edition, the ESV, and the Legacy Standard Bible. All of these translate the Hebrew well. I originally used the KJV. As you read each verse of Leviticus 23 compare with them the Septuagint translation verse by verse. You will see where the Septuagint translators went awry in Leviticus 23:11 and changed the waving of the Omer (wave sheaf) from the day after the weekly Sabbath to the day after the first day. That first day would be the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread.
In this manner, those that observed the waving of the Omer on the day after the weekly Sabbath would begin their 50-day countdown to Shavuot always on a Sunday and it would always end on a Sunday. Those that stubbornly hold to the view that the waving of the Omer on the day after the first day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) therefore must believe that Nisan 15 is a Sabbath and their 50-day count always ends on Sivan 6.
It doesn't matter what day of the week Nisan 16 falls on, whether it is a Tuesday or a Friday, it will always end on the same day of the week it began. The correct day of counting is to count seven Sabbath Days and on the day after the seventh Sabbath is Shavuot (Pentecost). The incorrect way to begin the count is to begin the count on a weekday and to end on the same weekday seven WEEKS later.