I always feel a little out of sorts and discombobulated when Passover and Easter occur separately as they have done this year. The reason of course is the method of calculation.
I honestly don’t know how the Rabbis calculate Passover, but I know that the original method was to determine whether the barley was ‘Aviv’ – ready, the word actually means ‘Spring’ at the time of the new moon. If it isn’t, an additional month is added and Passover will be on the 14th day (which is of course the full moon) of the next month. That is what has happened this year. (There are in fact those – Messianics and Karaite Jews – who still use this method of calculation, and you can subscribe to the New Moon Report from Jerusalem to know when to celebrate according to Biblical law if you want to, but in fact the Rabbis’ calculation is remarkably reliable.)
Easter, on the other hand – purposely divorced as it was from its Jewish roots – is determined with reference to the Spring Equinox. In fact, the Orthodox churches of the East use a different calculation which causes Easter to more readily fall in line with Passover.
I’m not ready to convert to Orthodoxy though!
It is in fact a very Jewish thing to accept contradiction and live with tension, and as a Messianic that is something you have to do, unless you are willing to take a hard line and come down heavily on either side of the argument. I spent a long time among hard-liners, but it never sat easily with me. It really isn’t in my nature to be a hard-liner.
I would of course prefer it if all would agree (and I feel more comfortable with following the Jewish calendar), but for the sake of fellowship, I concede that there are two celebrations essentially of the same holiday on years like this.
The only problem now is that there will also be two celebrations of Shavuot/ Pentecost as well and counting the omer/ Eastertide can get a bit confusing!
Whichever way you celebrate, blessings to you!
May the light of the risen Christ rise in your hearts!