QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
On March 10, 2016, we received the following inquiry:
“Please explain to me why some choose 23 March for the celebration of Christ’s death?
According my calculation, the 22-23 April is the correct one.”
To the author, thank you for your email. Quite a few are wondering the same thing. In 2016, Nisan 14 falls on April 22, 2016 according to a modern Jewish calendar. However, the Watchtower organization, in their legalistic approach to everything, calculates the date for their memorial celebration according to an ancient Jewish calendar presumed to be the one Jesus and his apostles used in the first century.
However, as we have noted many times, Jesus had an aversion to strict interpretations and unyielding traditions. He instituted his memorial supper, not on Passover, but on the day before Passover (Matthew 27:62), as the entire Jewish nation would not have been at a trial and execution on Passover. They would have been at home in solemn observance. Additionally, the early Christians commemorated the remembrance supper ‘as often as’ they got together. (1 Corinthians 11:26) (See also Question and Response January 9, 2013, Question and Response January 13, 2013.)
For these reasons, we do not worry much about finding an exact date. What we believe is most important is that we DO remember him by reenacting the Memorial Supper in remembrance of Jesus whenever we choose to get together for it.