Question: The Roman [Catholic] Church changed the Sabbath [from Saturday] to Sunday. Jesus could not have died on Friday and risen on Sunday....[He] died Wednesday afternoon and rose before sunset Saturday. Could you comment on this in your newsletter?
Response: The Roman Catholic Church didn't start "Sunday worship." The early church met for communion and worship on Sunday from the very beginning. Acts:20:7 tells us that it was "on the first day of the week" that the disciples came together to "break bread." That this wasn't just for a meal, but was the communion or Lord's table, is clear. Surely they didn't eat just once a week; but they did meet to remember the Lord in the bread and cup as they had been commanded once a week—and it was on Sunday. First Corinthians 16:2 confirms this, for it tells us that they took a collection or offering on the "first of the week."
Why did they meet on Sunday? It could only have been because that was the day that Christ, firstborn from the dead and progenitor of a new creation, resurrected. That is clear from Matthew:28:1; Mark:17:2,9; Luke:24:1; John:20:1,19. It was "early in the morning . . . on the first day of the week" that Christ rose from the dead. So those who state that Christ "rose before sunset Saturday" are contradicted by Scripture, which not only says He rose on "the first day of the week" (which technically began Saturday evening), but that it was "very early in the morning."
You are right. He couldn't have been crucified on Friday afternoon and spent three days and nights in the grave and resurrected Sunday morning. Why did the evening of His crucifixion begin a sabbath? The first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were special sabbaths. So the first day of unleavened bread fell on Friday ("that sabbath day was an high day"), which was then followed by Saturday, the regular sabbath. Two sabbaths intervened from the time of His crucifixion until Sunday morning, thus preventing the women from coming to the grave until that time. I hope this is helpful.