Just a literal interpretation of the meaning behind Passover. Why skip over Easter? (Passover always lands on Easter)

It's a semantical question.

  • Hi Rob. Thanks for your question. In case you haven't already, please take the site tour to familiarize yourself with the site and find out how it is different from other discussion forums. With that said, I don't know what you mean by "skip over" easter? Is this a question about calendar dates? It would help if you could offer a little bit more justification in the body of the question and try to use precise language. I hope you get a satisfying answer! – Andrew Mar 17 '17 at 19:33
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    I'm not sure what you mean by "skip over". – Matt Gutting Mar 17 '17 at 19:33
  • Perhaps you could add an example highlighting what you mean by "skip over" (eg dates, if you're talking about the calendar). Do the Wikipedia articles on Passover or Easter answer your question? If not, it would be useful to say what they are missing and what we can help with. – Andrew Leach Mar 17 '17 at 19:37
  • @AndrewLeach Yeah, passover always falls on easter. Why? What is it insinuating when it passes over easter? – Rob Mar 17 '17 at 19:39
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    @Rob, some additional history on how the date for Easter (which the Orthodox Church actually calls by the Greek name for "Passover" - Pascha ) got set - can be found here. – guest37 Mar 18 '17 at 3:50

There are two misconceptions in the question, which it's necessary to address in order to answer it.

Passover is a Jewish festival, and celebrates the deliverance of the Israelites from the last of the great plagues of Egypt, when the Egyptians' first-born were killed. In order to identify their homes to be spared by the Spirit of the Lord, the Israelites daubed the blood of a sacrificed lamb on the doorposts. The Lord then passed over that house. See Exodus chapters 11–12.

The festivals of Holy Week and Easter commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was crucified at the time of the passover festival that year, when the Jewish people were remembering their ancestors' deliverance from the plagues and ultimately from slavery in Egypt. Because the Christian calendar makes it an annual commemoration as well, it's always going to fall at around the time of the Jewish passover. There is no other direct calendrical connection. [In fact, the calculation of the date of Easter is complicated, but not necessary for this answer.]

The name "Passover" has nothing to do with passing over Easter. If Christ had not been crucified at Passover, there would be no connection at all.

Because the date of Passover varies in the Gregorian calendar (the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, not a solar calendar), and the date of Easter also varies because it derived from the Passover calculation and is essentially calculated from the moon, albeit slightly differently, the two festivals coincide occasionally. They don't coincide every year at all. This year, as Matt Gutting has commented, Passover, the Western Easter and the Eastern Easter all coincide despite their different methods of calculation.

There are theological connections between the Jewish Passover, where a lamb was killed to deliver the Israelites from bondage, and the Christian Easter, where Christ [often called the Paschal or Passover Lamb] was killed to deliver his people from the consequences of sin. But while the correlation is evidence of God's plan in the timing of the crucifixion, I'm not sure that it's required for this question.

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