Have you noticed how weird Easter is? Can you imagine how bummed out we'd get if Christmas came at a different time each year, like maybe November 22, nearer to Thanksgiving one year, then the next year it ends up being after December 25? Now that would really get the retailers upset. But Easter, well let's just throw that baby wherever we want, you know, just so long as it is in the spring. How would it be if we treated July 4th with such disrespect? Think about it.
I used to not think about it at all, so it didn't bother me. Then I remembered that Jesus died the week of Passover right after he ate the Passover meal with his disciples. So, I assumed that Easter was chasing Passover like the Easter bunny and that for solar and lunar reasons it came at a different date each year. Hmm… not really. Did you ever notice that sometimes Easter's date isn't any where near Passover? That's right. Sometimes they are nearly a month apart. Sometimes Passover comes in March and sometimes in April.
What perked me up to this fact was this year I thought it would be cool to do a Passover Seder here at home with our family. So, I asked Google when Passover was this year. Guess what? It's April 7, this Saturday, the day before Easter. Wow! Now that is cool. So, you can have the Passover Seder on Friday evening on Good Friday (or Saturday if you like) and still celebrate Easter as if the two were connected somehow.
Dah, they are connected! Easter is about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead three days later. It happened on Passover (or the night before) when Jesus gathered his disciples in the upper room to have the Last Supper, which was the Passover supper that commemorated the Jews escape from Egypt and God's protection of His people from the last plague. Remember, the angel of death was to kill all the first born children in Egypt. God gave them strict orders to eat the Passover meal as a memorial of God's provision of a lamb's blood through all generations. It is to take place every year on the 14th day of Nissan or the Jewish calendar.
So, why is it so hard for the Church to get its act together and celebrate Easter the Sunday after Passover? It's not that hard. (We'll explain more about this in our next blog.) Just follow Passover, which, by the way, is full of meaning for what Christ did in offering himself as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The blood of the lamb had to be put on the lintels and doorposts of each Jewish home as a sign to the angel of death that this home was covered by the blood, and thus protected. Wow, what an amazing message!
We are going to muse on Easter/Passover question all this week.
But while we do I just want to give you a head's up about Passover being on Easter Saturday this year. Why not consider following the last steps of Jesus during this Holy Week and celebrating Passover with a mini-Seder (we will publish one here) with your family on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights.