When God started his new religion with the enslaved Isrealites he based his special holy days on the lunisolar calendar. This lunar year is about eleven days shorter than a solar year as it uses the metonic cycle, which adds an intercalary month every second or third year, of its nineteen year cycle. The first month of the year in the lunisolar calendar is Aviv which means “ripening of the barley”. But not just any barley would do as barley ripens at different times around the world. Aviv is tied to the observed seasonal ripening of barley in Israel, only then could the first month of Aviv be determined. This made determining when Easter should be celebrated rather awkward if you were a Christian living in other parts of the world. Christians had to follow the Jewish system to know when the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus took place.
The confusion of determining dates caused Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on different days, many not even on Sunday. This bothered Emperor Constantine who believed it was a Christian’s duty to have nothing in common with the Jews, the murderers of Jesus. At the Council of Nicea in 325 AD Constantine made sure Easter would be observed on the Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring equinox.
This date was easier to calculate for all Christians and freed them from following the Jews. It was not followed by all Christians at first but by branding those who did not follow this ruling as heretics, subject to death, Easter Sunday was eventually established.
There may have been good reasons for adopting new days of worship for the Christians in the fourth century but it is always important to be honest and transparent about why those changes were made. Over the centuries the honesty of Constantine’s decisions has not been followed. Most Christians don’t know why they worship on the days they do and try to justify keeping their adjusted holy days by distorting God’s word.
By declaring with his dying breath “it is finished” Jesus freed his followers to worship on any day they chose. By explaining the commands Christians have to follow: to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbour as ourselves, Jesus bound our desires to God and to be honest with others in all things. Do you know why you worship when you do? Can knowing why, make you and others, more enlightened, stronger Christians?
Romans 8:1-4 King James Version
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.