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It was on a night like this…

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One of the ways in which historians date the year of the birth of Jesus Christ is that Josephus – the Jewish historian – says that before Herod died, there was an eclipse of the moon. Josephus describes it as occuring on the night after Herod killed some of the teachers and students at the Temple. Tonight, in the UK at least, you can see what Herod saw as, [according to the Times->], the moon will turn red. Scholars argue as to whether this was 4 BC 5 BC or 1 BC. But for us, it will definitely be 3rd March 2007, from 22:30 onwards.

There’s an important Biblical reference as well. A lunar eclipse also occurred on Friday April 3, AD 33. Which is, most historians agree, the most likely date for Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter may well be referring to this when he quotes the prophet Joel in Acts 2.14-21.

So look out tonight and you’ll see the same kind of sky that the disciples saw over Jerusalem that night.

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.”
(Joel 2.31-32)