Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why does the date of Easter fluctuate so much?

Easter is historically the day in which Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In reality, each Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. In fact, this is the reason we meet on Sunday.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God who became human, lived a selfless, sinless life of service, and died on the cross for our sins. Three days later, God raised him from the dead. Sunday, or the first day of the week, was the day that Jesus was raised or resurrected, coming back to life and putting on a new, transformed, spiritual body. The earliest Christians referred to Sunday as “the Lord’s Day,” and took the Lord’s Supper on this day to remember Jesus.

Have you ever wondered why the date of Easter fluctuates so much? So have others! Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon after the Spring equinox. In 325 AD the Council of Nicea determined that Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the Spring equinox, unless the full moon falls on Sunday. If this happens, Easter falls one week later. The date for Easter thus ranges from March 22 to April 25.

Much of the world has set its calendar around Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. There is a reason for this. With Christ’s resurrection, a whole new age was ushered in.

What traditions do you have in your church or family for Easter?


Seeker said...

Our church's tradition is the same as the early Christians which is to take the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day, even though many others only do so periodically or even once a year at Easter. Our family's tradition is to have dinner together and let the kids hunt eggs and eat candy.