The year I was born, Easter was on April 17th. The year I got married, it fell on April 6th, the day after my birthday. Easter was March 30th the year my oldest was born and March 26th the year my youngest was born. And this year, it lands on April 24th, which to me, seems like the latest Easter I can remember.
Going to http://www.timeanddate.com/ can show any calendar from any year to see when Easter fell in any given year. But who sets the date for Easter and how do they decided? Why not celebrate on the day Christ was resurrected?
Well, for one thing, Christians, theologians, and scholars cannot agree on the day Christ was crucified or resurrected. Christians celebrate the Good Friday Crucifixion to Sunday morning resurrection timeline. But that’s not three days and three nights. And according to Mathew 12:39-40, Christ was in the earth for three days and three nights.
Matthew 12: 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just 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.
So, then, how could Christ be crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday. The math doesn’t add up. Then again, according to the Gregorian calendar, Sunday is the first day of the week and the sabbath falls on Saturday. And the Gregorian calendar is a continuation of the Julian calendar that started with the year Jesus was born. But most western religions who celebrate the birth and resurrection of Christ worship on Sunday. So, maybe that’s why Christians cling to the Good Friday to Easter Sunday time line.
But according to some- http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Jesus-Resurrection -Christ was crucified between 9:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m. He was then placed in the grave. Although this isn’t a full 24 hours, it counts as the first day and first night in the grave. Thursday and Friday are days two and three and Christ arose on Saturday, the day then recognized as the Sabbath.
So, why don’t Christians follow this time line? And why do we celebrate on different days and even months?
How is Easter even determined?
Easter is determined by the equinox. Every year around March 21 and September 23, there is twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness. Day and night are equal. These two days are known as the vernal or spring equinox and the autumnal equinox.
In 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea established Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon and dependant upon the ececclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. But if the full moon falls on Sunday, Easter is delayed one week, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover.
So, if Easter is celebrated at different times of the month, does it really matter whether Christ died on a Friday and was ressurrected on Sunday. Or if he died on Wednesday and was ressurected on Saturday? What matters is that Christ was tortured, ridiculed, and crucified for our sins. He was buried in a tomb where he lay dead for three days before his ressurection on the third day. And because he died, we migh live and have eternal life.Believing and having faith is what counts.
In the words of Sturar Chase~ “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”