I have recently received reviews for a journal paper I submitted a few months back. The verdict is a major revision (three out of four reviewers requested this, the fourth said accept with minor revisions).
Many of the reviewers felt like we did not justify our approach sufficiently, to which we agree and can improve upon. The editor; however, in their comments to us, stated that we should take a different (much more complicated) approach altogether (even though none of the reviewers suggested changing the entire approach, only to justify why we chose the approach we did).
Question: How should we proceed when the editor's comments seem much stronger than those of the reviewers?
It is not feasible to accommodate the editor's requests by the deadline. I'm unsure if the reviewers made (stronger) private comments to the editor requesting larger changes or if the editor interpreted the reviewers comments much differently than we did. The paper will go back to the reviewers after we make the requested changes.