Hundreds of years ago, Joel prophesied: “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes” (Joel 2:31, ESV). Peter repeats that prophesy in his Pentecost day sermon (Acts 2:20), and John on Patmos sees a vision of its fulfillment (Revelation 6:12).
This morning people in many parts of the world got a similar glimpse. The reddish appearance of the total lunar eclipse early today earns its title as a Blood Moon.
My husband and I rise early every day, but we took time this morning to check out the Blood Moon. I tried to get some pictures; however, zooming so far requires a tripod (which I didn’t have set up) so mine turned out pretty blurry. And tree branches obscured our view. He grabbed the camera and drove to the top of a nearby hill. Resting the camera on his van’s window, he was able to get some better shots, posted here.
You can watch a video of an earlier Blood Moon and read more about the science behind it in this Huffington Post article. And if you’re wondering about future eclipses, check out the dates posted on this page at The Old Farmer’s Almanac website.
Seeing the definite red coloring of this morning’s eclipse brings to mind Joel’s chilling prophecy. But he doesn’t simply decree future catastrophe. The next verse conveys these words of hope: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32a, ESV).
Peter uses that verse to transition into his convicting message about Jesus of Nazareth as the crucified Christ, a message that cut his hearers to the heart (Acts 2:37) and brought many into the kingdom.
John witnessed a vision of the end of time as we know it. No longer will the sun warm our days and the moon light our nights, their circuits marking out weeks and months and years. A great earthquake will accompany the blackening of the sun and the reddening of the moon. The stars will fall like figs in a gale. The sky will vanish like a rolled-up scroll, and every mountain and island will disappear. People will cower in caves, begging rocks to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:12-17). But those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Don’t be one of those crying out to the rocks. Be one who cries to the Rock.