He is Risen

Note: Because of Easter day, I will continue with the series “The End of the Age” in two weeks.

Happy Easter, but is it actually Easter? I read an article yesterday by Mark Biltz [1], titled Christians celebrating Easter on the wrong day. His thesis was that Christians should get on God’s (biblical calendar), arguing that Christians’ abandonment of the biblical calendar has led to a strange situation in 2016, as believers will actually be celebrating Jesus rising from the dead almost a full month before the anniversary of His crucifixion [2]. Pastor Biltz asks “Why do believers celebrate the Resurrection of the Messiah before his actual death? [3]”

That’s a great question Pastor.

Has anybody really ever tried to figure out the actual dates of any occurrence according to the Bible? For example, we actually celebrate Christmas on the wrong day as well, but that’s another issue. In terms of Easter, consider this, how many actually celebrate what Christ told us to remember and celebrate? Check out Matthew 26:17-19. This is the Last Supper and was a Passover meal. Jesus said at the Passover seder, “. . .this do in remembrance of me.”

v24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
v25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. –1 Corinthians 11:24-25 KJV

What Christ was referring to was the Passover [4]. Most Christians do not celebrate Passover but simply celebrate the resurrection, and then we do it on the wrong day. Easter [5] this year is March 27. So, if this is the wrong day, what is the right day? Well, it depends on what calendar we use.

The world’s standard calendar today is the Gregorian calendar, where January is the first month of the year. However, the biblical calendar starts on the Jewish month of Nisan. Leviticus 23:5, says Passover should be on the 14th day of the first month [6]. According to the biblical calendar, this year, Passover, or Nisan 14, occurs at sundown on April 22. Therefore, Christ’s resurrection is on the 24th of April.

The biblical calendar does not go by a solar year, but by a lunar year. The problem with strictly lunar calendars is that there are approximately 12.4 lunar months in every solar year, so a 12-month lunar calendar loses about 11 days every year and a 13-month lunar gain about 19 days every year.

The trouble here is that the lunar year drifts. However, that’s not a problem. Therefore, to compensate for this drift, they occasionally add an extra month of Adar. The month of Nisan would occur 11 days earlier for two or three years, and then would jump forward 29 or 30 days, balancing out the drift. Then there is Leap year.

Although the first month of the year starts on Passover, Nisan, the regular Jewish New Year starts on Tishri, the seventh month of the biblical calendar. The U.S. New Year starts in January, but the new school year starts in September. Businesses and governmental new years has a fiscal start. The Jewish calendar has different starts for different purposes.

Are you totally confused now? To tell you the truth, it’s too complicated for me. Is March 27th looking pretty good right about now?

Wait a minute though, is the specific day really important? I am in the camp of celebrating Passover and the Resurrection on the appropriate days. If you are of the opinion that the 27th of March is OK, that’s fine. We can still be friends. No problem. Next week, I’ll explain why.

Until then, I pray that you all have a wonderful Easter remembering our Lord Jesus Christ and what He has personally done for you. After all, remembering, celebrating, and thanking are the important things.

v24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
v25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
v26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. –Numbers 6:24-26

[1] El Shaddai Ministries in Tacoma, Washington
[2] Direct quote from his article on WND
[3] Direct quote
[4] The Gospels declare that Jesus Christ died on Passover. Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:31
[5] The Resurrection
[6] Nisan

One thought on “He is Risen

  1. I think—& it’s just an “i think”—that we can get so technecal that the beauty & power of any celebration of the life, death, resurrection of Jesus takes away from & divides the body of Christ. Same goes for what day to worship–Saturday, Sunday–how many times should we take communion & many other things that to me, are non essential. Our main thing is that we personally recognise every day what Jesus has done for us & enjoy/love each other that have accepted the price our Savior & Lord paid for us.


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