Why doesn't Easter Sunday have a specific date on the calendar?*


Clarify Share Report Asked January 26 2021 Jean74 Thelma Lesch

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Although I have seen calculations that purport to determine the exact date according to the solar Gregorian calendar (that is, one that is based on the revolution of the earth around the sun) on which Jesus rose from the dead, I would say that Easter is a so-called "moveable feast" -- that is, one that changes in date (within certain limits) from year to year -- because its observance is tied to the lunar calendar (based on the orbit of the moon around the earth) established for Israel in the Old Testament, and also so that it may always be observed on the same day of the week (that is, the day after the Jewish Sabbath), irrespective of the Gregorian calendar date on which that day may fall. 

The use of the orbit and phases of the moon (from which the English word "month" derives, but that does not correspond precisely in length to a month of the Gregorian calendar) in calculating the dates of annual Jewish observances (such as Passover), and the linking of those events to astronomical phenomena such as the vernal (spring) and autumnal (fall) equinoxes, results in those observances (even if they are on the same date according to the lunar calendar from one year to the next) being conducted on differing dates from year to year according to the Gregorian calendar.

Because Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection were so closely tied (in both their original time frame, as well as in a symbolic/prophetic sense) to the Jewish observance of Passover (involving the killing of the Passover lamb, which prefigured the death of Jesus as the Lamb of God), the dates of their commemoration are linked to that, rather than to fixed dates of the solar calendar.

January 26 2021 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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