Many religious leaders and others have pointed out that there will be several lunar eclipses on Jewish festival days over the next two years, the first of which was last night, the first night of Pesakh or Passover. These lunar eclipses have been dubbed, 'The Blood Moons', and are a sign of disasters to follow. But is that a correct interpretation of the scriptures?For those who may not know what a lunar eclipse is, it happens when the moon is shadowed by the Earth and its atmosphere. This morning (April 15th), the Moon spent more than three hours moving through the Earth's shadow. The Moon turned red during the transit because the core of our planet's shadow is red. Why red? The light shining through the Earth's atmosphere gives the shadow its red glow transforming the Moon into the great red orb we saw this morning.

Genesis 3:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. (NRSV)

 To understand why these lunar eclipses are drawing so much attention from religious leaders you first have to understand the difference between the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars. The Gregorian calendar is a solar-based calendar while the Hebrew is lunar, meaning that instead of solar days to measure a year, the cycles of the moon are used. The Bible tells us that God gave us the stars and planets for signs and seasons. Pagan cultures perverted that to mean that the stars ruled our fate. When miraculous or catastrophic events happen to the Jewish people, they seem to always fall on specific memorial feast days set aside for them by GOD.

The first Passover was instituted by GOD for Israel when He was about to deliver them from the land of Egypt:

Exodus 12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. - (NRSV)

Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples the night he was betrayed, handed over to Jerusalem's Jewish leaders, then the Romans and crucified. So the feast days are extremely important to both Judaism and Christianity.

What some 'scholars' have latched onto is the fact that there will be several of these lunar/solar events: (Lunar) Passover April 15th 2014; (Lunar) Feast of Tabernacles October 8th 2014; (Solar) Jewish New Year for KINGS March 20, 2015; (Lunar) Passover April, 4 2015; (Solar) Feast of Trumpets September 13, 2015; (Lunar) Feast of Tabernacles September 28, 2015.

Four total lunar eclipses occurring in a row is so rare that NASA gave it a special name: tetrad. Between 1600 and 1900, there were no tetrads, but they’ve occurred several times in recent history: in 1909-10, 1927-28, 1949-50, 1967-68, 1985-86, and 2003-04, but not all of these fell on 'feast days'. While blood moons are common, their occurrence on biblical feast days are rare. The last time this occurred was 1967 when Israel liberated Jerusalem. The time before that was 1948 when they became a nation. The time before that, about 1500 years between.

One Christian leader in Texas has written a book about these lunar/solar events claiming that they herald a great upheaval in the Middle East in the next two years. He bases his theory on a scripture in the Book of Acts which says:

Acts 2:20

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
But, there are some scholars that contend that the events spoken of in the Book of Acts happen after the sun and moon are the same time, which is quite different that separate lunar and solar eclipses. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, other verses seem to confirm that:

Isaiah 13:10

For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

Joel 2:10

The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
The Coming of the Son of Man ] “Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.

Revelation 6:12

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,
Whatever the meaning of the 'Blood Moons', they are a rare astronomical event that we will get to see in our lifetime. If you missed the first one, don't worry. Three more lunar eclipses (and two solar) are in the offing. Get the full story from Science@NASA.