Jesus was born on a certain day, and we celebrate it on 12/25. He died on a certain day. Why does Easter move every year?
An interesting question. Technically, we “should” celebrate Jesus death and resurrection around the Jewish celebration of Passover. Jesus gathered his disciples to share in the Passover meal – what we refer to as the Last Supper (Luke 22:7-8). That night he was arrested, was crucified the next day, (Good Friday) and rose on the 3rd day (Sunday). Passover moves around, so even if we did celebrate it this way, we wouldn’t have a set date.
The date of Easter is decided based on the lunar calendar. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring. It can be anywhere from March 22 – April 25. This is due to the church absorbing and Christianizing some pagan celebrations. Which is also the case with the date of Christmas. I personally don’t have any issue with these dates being former pagan celebrations. They’ve been reshaped, repackaged, and redeemed. If the reason for celebrating Easter is the risen Christ, any day will due.
Why do we hold church on Sunday?
I love the idea of asking why we do what we do. Tradition for tradition sake is rarely a healthy thing.
A few places in the New Testament indicate to us that the early church met on Sundays (the first day of the week). Acts 20:7 talks about meeting together for the breaking of bread and then Paul continues to teach the believers late into the night (Eutychus falls out of the window, dies, Paul prays for him and he’s resurrected…a fun story AND a warning about falling asleep in church!). In I Corinthians 16:2 Paul instructs believers on the first day of the week to set aside money to give to the church.
Perhaps the most significant reasons we hold church on Sunday is because it’s the day that Jesus rose from the dead. He died on a Friday and the tomb was empty on Sunday (I Corinthians 15:3-4). While we should celebrate the resurrected Christ everyday of the week, Sunday seems to be a logical choice for the church to gather for worship.