[by Dean Smith] For those with an eye towards the end times, next week could prove interesting.
On Friday, March 20, 2015, there will be a total eclipse of the sun. The total eclipse will happen over the North Pole and is expected to last 2 minutes. The eclipse will be so strong, particularly in Europe, that some in England are concerned it may cause power outages in that country because of its growing dependence on solar energy.
In fact, England’s Daily Mail referred to it as a “Great Eclipse” as some parts of England will experience 97% darkness. In England the eclipse will start at 8 AM, peak around 9:30 and will finish by 11 AM.
However, the timing of the eclipse is as unusual as the eclipse itself. It will fall on the Spring Equinox, an event that would only occur once every 100,000 years. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and sun.
March 20th also holds a spiritual significance for the Jews. As the first day of the month of Nissan (also called Abib), it is first day of the start of the Hebrew calendar year. It is referenced in the Book of Exodus as the day God delivered Israel from Egypt (Exodus 12:2; Leviticus 23:5).
The Jewish Passover is traditionally celebrated two weeks later on the 15th day of Nissan. Since the Hebrew calendar is based on lunar cycles, the Passover is scheduled to fall on a full moon. Coincidence or not, this will be a blood moon.
Over the past two years, blood moons have fallen on three Jewish festivals which according to Biblical scholars is unprecedented.
These two events, the solar eclipse and blood moon, have caught the attention of those studying the end times.
They are two of the four signs the Apostle John saw in his end-times vision recorded in the Book of Revelation that will indicate the opening of the sixth seal.
12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. (Revelation 6:12, 13 NASV)
The Apostle John’s four signs:
1. A great earth quake: In His end-time apocalyptic prophecy, Jesus warned of a number of great earthquakes (Luke 21:10-11), but the Apostle John says there will be one great earthquake that will stand out as “exceedingly great,” which is its actual description in the Greek.
2. An eclipse of the sun where it becomes as dark as sackcloth. At creation, God said the stars in heavens would serve multiple purposes. One of them included acting as signs: “let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14 NASV).
3. Blood moon: For more information read: Blood moon, a sign of the times?.
4. Stars falling from heaven: It is uncertain what these are. Some have suggested meteor strikes or perhaps even more lethal asteroid strikes. According to John, there will be multiple hits. Others wonder if this is a reference to a nuclear attack, though the verse suggests a more natural cause.
Whatever they are, Jesus described them as “terrors and great signs from the heaven” (Luke 21:11 NASV). If the Old Testament prophet Joel is referring to the same event in his prophecy, “the wonders in the sky” will result in destruction, death and fires on earth.
“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
31 “The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. (Joel 2:30-31 NASV)
Since the Apostle John references these four signs in two verses, it is believed they will occur around the same time. It is uncertain, if the verse shows the order of occurrence.
- Passover blood moon preceded by exceedingly rare solar eclipse: Breaking Israel News
- Heavens above! It’s the great eclipse: Next Friday morning, Britain will turn from day to night for the first time this century. Here’s all you need to know: Daily Mail
- Wow-wow! “Exceedingly rare” solar eclipse to preceed Passover Blood moon: Breaking Christian News