Interesting timing for 2014-2015
These significant lunar eclipses, a tetrad (four consecutive Blood Moons), correlate with Passover and Sukkot.
Passover is an important biblically derived Jewish festival. The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God from slavery in ancient Egypt that was ruled by the Pharaohs, and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.
Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel) or eight days (in the diaspora). In Judaism, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk. In Israel and the Northern Hemisphere Passover takes place in spring as the Torah prescribes it: “in the month of [the] spring” (בחדש האביב Exodus 23:15). It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles/Booths)
Sukkot is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (varies from late September to late October). It is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (shalosh regalim) on which the Israelites would make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem: Passover, Pentecost and Sukkot.
The holiday lasts seven days in Israel and eight in the diaspora. The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, “booth” or “tabernacle“, which is a walled structure covered with s’chach (plant material such as overgrowth or palm leaves). The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which, according to the Torah, the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many people sleep there as well. A sukkah is also for the temporary dwelling in which agricultural workers would live during harvesting, and celebrates harvest.
Nisan 1 is the Biblical New Years Day
Nisan (or Nissan) on the Hebrew calendar is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month (eighth, in leap year) of the civil year. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. Assyrians refer to the month as the “month of happiness.” It is a spring month of 30 days. Nisan usually falls in March–April on the Gregorian calendar. In the Book of Esther in the Tanakh it is referred to as Nisan.
Some people now jump to end times prophecies but it’s unwise to jump to conclusions. So many get it wrong so often. No one knows the day nor the hour. However, it’s interesting to note some significant major events around the times of previous tetrachs:
This Tetrad with four Blood Moons coincide with major biblical feasts and the current one inludes two solar eclipses as well – Nisan 1 (biblical new year) and the Feast of Trumpets.
We need to avoid the extremes of astrologers (following wrong spirits) on one hand and of doomsday fanatics on the other. Tensions in the Middle East continue to escalate and there are wars and rumours of wars. But we fix our eyes on Jesus, not on politics. Nevertheless Jesus reminded us to be aware of the times and to be ready for his return.
Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost
quoting from Joel 2:30-32:
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
Jesus will return, but as He told us, “No one knows the day, nor the hour, not even the angels in heaven, but my Father only.” (Mt. 24:36)
Now, what if something significant does happen between now and the end of these four Blood Moon signs that are still forthcoming? Well, things happen all the time.
Enjoy the lunar eclipse. Take good pictures. Marvel at God’s creation. But don’t give in to the fear and the hype.
The Blood Moons display the glory of God as the heavens declare his majesty and pour forth speech all day long.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
(Reflection adapted from Keith Giles)