Blood moons and the resurrection of Jesus

April 7th, 2015

I’m honestly not all that familiar with blood moon theology. I’ve never much cared for John Hagee and his odd antics. But from the little bit I understand about his teachings on this subject, he’s arguing that the recent blood moons are indicators that the end of the world, the eschaton, is upon us. For Hagee’s theology, this means in all likelihood that the rapture is near and judgment is about to fall on the earth.

He’s derived all this from a few isolated Bible verses and a couple of lunar oddities.

As the Easter season begins in the church year where we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, I think it’s only appropriate to give a brief, yet more comprehensive view of the “end of the world” as described in the Bible.

But it won’t look like what you think.

You see, the ancient Jewish expectation was that the end of the old age would be marked by resurrection. That is, when the righteous martyrs were raised from the dead, that meant that God was ushering in a new age, a new world, where he would dwell with his people and bring judgment and justice on the wicked.

This was the theological, eschatological expectation of many Jewish people prior to Jesus. So when Jesus, the “king of the Jews,” was killed by the Roman authorities, he would have been seen as one of those righteous martyrs that would one day resurrect from the dead as an indicator that God’s rule was coming on earth as it is in heaven.

But notice the "one day" aspect of that statement. The belief was that that day was still in the future. Resurrection marked a new age (and the passing of the old age) which is still yet to come. As long as righteous martyrs are still being killed, so they thought, then we are still the old age.

But then everything gets thrown in the air when three days after Jesus’ death he comes out of the grave. All of the sudden, the end wasn’t one day in the distant future, the end is now. The end is present among us. The last days have begun because one of the righteous martyrs has resurrected from the dead.

In other words, in Jesus’ resurrection, he ushers in the end of the world. He rings the bell indicating the death of the old, sinful world. In his death and resurrection, he has defeated death and chaos. He has defeated Satan and the forces of evil. He has defeated unjust powers — like the Roman Empire.

Of course, we know that Satan still rages (Revelation 11), but the point is that death and empires, Satan and evil still rage because they know their time is short. They are the rulers of the old age which is defeated but still fighting. They are the representatives of broken creation, while Christ represents God’s work to restore creation. Evil forces and death war against God’s holy church, but the church is the new creation people — the people of the end — living in old creation as it gasps its final breaths.

The end of the world is not something Christians wait for. We understand that in the resurrection of Jesus, God’s new creation has broken into the old creation. We understand that the end of the world is already upon us; God is currently dwelling with his people and the kingdom is coming on earth as it is in heaven.

We don’t need blood moons and lunar oddities to warn us that the end is upon us. The resurrection of our dead Messiah, Israel’s truly righteous martyr, is God’s word to the world: The end is upon you, now is the time to seek life.

Of course, this is not to say there’s no talk in the Bible that refers to the “last days.” There certainly is. But our discussion of those last days is blown out of proportion because we fail to see how Jesus’ resurrection has already set us on course with those last days. We fail to see those last days texts in their particular social and biblical contexts because we can’t help but imagine the end of the world without reference to the resurrection of Jesus.

Our misunderstanding of the clear connection between the resurrection and the end of the world leads us to default theologies that reinforce a disembodied notion of the afterlife. We beat the drum of escapist theology (rapture) and repeatedly fail to see that the resurrection is God’s affirming word to our physicality and our this-worldliness. And in this, we lose the central storyline of Scripture and reduce our beliefs to silly speculations of lunar spectacles.

The true “end times” for the Christian has nothing to do with blood moons and raptures. It has everything to do with living resurrection life right now by the power of the Holy Spirit, who inspires victorious resurrection living in the day-to-day lives of the people of God. Let us not be torn away from sound resurrection theology by the fear-mongering, dramatic doctrine of a few weird Christians. Let us remember that the resurrection of Jesus changes the world. It ends the old world of sin and death. And it indicates that God is on mission to restore this world and every human within it.

Tom Fuerst blogs at You can subscribe to his blog via email here.

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