The full moon holds deep spiritual symbolism in the Bible. Throughout Scripture, the full moon represents spiritual completion, wholeness, and fulfillment. As Christians seeking to understand God’s Word, it is important that we unpack the rich biblical meanings associated with the full moon.
In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the significance of the full moon in both the Old and New Testaments. We will examine key passages that mention the full moon and analyze what they reveal about God’s character and His relationship with His people. Whether you are simply curious or looking to gain deeper insight for your spiritual walk, this post will illuminate what the full moon signifies in the Word of God.
The full moon has intrigued humanity since the beginning of time. In ancient cultures and religions, the full moon was associated with feminine deities and held deep spiritual meaning. The Bible also uses the full moon as a symbol to point to theological truths and spiritual realities. But what exactly does the full moon represent in the Judeo-Christian tradition?
In this post, we will study passages in both the Old and New Testaments that mention the full moon. By understanding the cultural context of the biblical writers, we can properly interpret the rich symbolism of the full moon in Scripture. We will examine when the full moon was celebrated in the Jewish calendar, its connection to Passover, and what it signified to the early Christians.
Here are the key takeaways you will learn in this comprehensive study:
- The full moon marked important festivals and appointments on the Jewish calendar
- The Passover was celebrated at the time of the full moon
- Jesus was crucified and resurrected during Passover, bringing new meaning to the full moon
- The full moon symbolizes completeness, wholeness, and fulfillment in Christ
- God’s people are called to live in the light of Christ, reflecting His fullness
Equipped with an understanding of the biblical significance of the full moon, we can better appreciate God’s design for His Church calendar and the profound spiritual metaphors He has built into nature. The full moon provides a vivid picture of the salvation and hope we have through faith in Christ. Let us now explore what the light of the full moon means in the Word of God.
The Full Moon and the Jewish Calendar
In ancient Jewish culture, the cycles of the moon were used to mark time, dates, and seasons. The Jewish calendar followed a lunar cycle, with each month beginning with the sighting of a new moon. God established this system of tracking time for His people.
“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year” (Exodus 12:2).
The centerpoint of the lunar month was the full moon. The full moon marked the middle of the month on the Jewish calendar.
The full moon also coincided with important Jewish feast and festival days. For instance, Passover began on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, which was a full moon. The Feast of Tabernacles, as well, started on the 15th day of the month of Tishri, occurring under a full moon.
“Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress” (Deuteronomy 16:13).
Thus, throughout the Old Testament period, the new moons and full moons structured the annual Jewish religious calendar. The rhythm of sowing and reaping, fasting and feasting was oriented around the lunar cycles which God established in the heavens.
Passover and the Full Moon
One of the most spiritually significant events linked to the full moon was the Passover. As mentioned, the Feast of the Passover began on the 14th day of Nisan, under a full moon. This was to remember God passing over the homes of the Israelites and sparing their firstborn sons from the final plague against Egypt (Exodus 12:23-27).
But profound theological meaning is related to the full moon and the Passover. The Passover marked the deliverance of God’s people out of slavery and into freedom. It commemorated their redemption and exodus from Egypt.
Centuries later, Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God, was crucified as the ultimate Passover sacrifice to save humanity from the bondage of sin.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus’ death happened at the time of preparation for the Passover feast:
“It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” (John 19:14)
“It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.” (Luke 23:54)
Remarkably, Christ’s crucifixion took place at the precise time that Passover lambs were being slain for the Jewish feast. The theological significance is overwhelming. Jesus is our Passover Lamb! As John the Baptist declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
In God’s perfect timing, the Savior shed His blood to deliver humanity from slavery to sin and death, just as the original Passover sacrifice protected the Israelites and delivered them from Egypt. The Passover full moon takes on new levels of meaning when we understand Christ’s sacrifice which brings wholeness and freedom.
The Full Moon as a Picture of Wholeness and Completeness
We have seen that the full moon marked pivotal religious feast days and appointments on the Jewish calendar. But the imagery of the full moon also points to spiritual metaphors and truths found throughout Scripture.
In particular, the full moon symbolizes completion, wholeness, and fulfillment. Let’s examine this idea further:
- The full moon reveals the full glory of God’s creation. When the moon is full it reflects the complete radiance of the sun’s light. The full moon speaks of the magnificence and beauty of God’s handiwork in nature. The Psalmist wrote of the heavens declaring God’s glory (Psalm 19:1). The full moon displays the majesty and creativity of the Lord.
- The fullness of the moon symbolizes wholeness. When the moon is full, it has reached the apex of its cycle. There is a sense of completion and wholeness associated with the full moon. For the Jewish people, the full moon signaled the high point of their monthly calendar. The full moon represents that which is entire, perfected, and fully developed.
- The full moon signifies fulfillment. The full moon phase completes the moon’s monthly cycle from new to full. There is no lack or missing element; its illuminating light has reached its zenith. In a similar way, the biblical concept of fulfillment demonstrates completion of purpose, fullness of meaning, and climax of events.
Spiritually, these aspects of the full moon – its revelation of God’s glory, its wholeness, and its fulfillment – found their supreme realization through Christ and the New Covenant.
Jesus came to fully reveal the glory and character of God: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Christ also brought spiritual wholeness and completeness to broken humanity through His sacrificial death and resurrection. And Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies, types, and shadows that pointed to the coming Messiah.
As the brightest heavenly body reflecting the light of the sun, the full moon perfectly captures these theological truths found in Scripture.
The Full Moon and Jesus Christ
We have explored the rich biblical symbolism of the full moon. Now let’s examine how the full moon illuminates the Person and work of Christ Himself.
1. Jesus is the light of the world. In John 8:12, Christ declares, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” As the full moon fully reflects the light of the sun, Jesus Christ radiates the glory of God. He is the complete revelation and embodiment of the light, truth, and glory of the Father.
2. The death of Christ brings full salvation. Under the Passover full moon, Jesus became the atoning Passover Lamb to take away the sins of the world. His sacrifice achieved the complete salvation of mankind – nothing was lacking. The writer of Hebrews says, “Because of that single offering, he has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). The fullness of salvation was accomplished through Christ.
3. The resurrection signifies Christ’s complete victory over death. Death could not hold Jesus! On the third day after Passover, Christ rose again victoriously at the time of the full moon. His bodily resurrection displayed the comprehensive triumph over sin, death, and the grave. The light of the world conquered the darkness completely.
4. Jesus fulfills the Old Covenant and inaugurates the New Covenant. As the fulfillment of all Messianic prophecies and promises, Jesus ushers in the New Covenant under which we now live. And He fulfills the Old Covenant sacrificial system as the once-for-all sufficient sacrifice for sin. The full moon symbolizes the comprehensive fulfillment found in the person of Christ.
Living in the Light of Christ
What are the implications of this biblical understanding of the full moon for believers today? How should we apply these truths to our spiritual walk as Christians?
The fullness of Christ should shape the pattern for our lives as disciples. Just as the moon reflects the complete light of the sun, we are to live in such a way that the full light of Christ shines through us to others.
We reflect Christ by living fully surrendered and consecrated lives. As His followers, we are called to offer ourselves completely as “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1). This involves surrendering our whole lives to obedience to Jesus. It means seeking to reflect His character of holiness, grace, mercy and love.
We make Christ central in all areas of our life – family, career, priorities, lifestyle. Rather than compartmentalizing faith, we structure the rhythm of our lives – weekly, monthly, annually – around the glory of Christ. Just as the Jewish calendar revolved around the moon cycles, we regularly worship Jesus through the community of faith.
We walk as children of light. The moon has no light apart from the sun. We only shine because of Christ in us, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. As believers, we are “children of light” (1 Thessalonians 5:5) who are now called to “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). This means embracing righteousness and exposing sin’s fruitless works of darkness.
We live to fulfill our calling and finish the race. Like the moon going through its phases, we seek to progress toward spiritual maturity and fulfill our purpose in Christ (Philippians 3:12-14). In doing so, we live in the dynamic process of being perfected and completed in Him.
Just as the full moon symbolizes wholeness, completion, and fulfillment, as Christians we aim to fully shine for Jesus that His glory is magnified. This brings purpose, meaning, and growth in our walk with God.
What an illuminating study on the significance of the full moon in the Bible! We have explored Old Testament passages about the role of the full moon in structuring the Jewish calendar around key festivals and feast days. We’ve seen the deep theological meaning of the Passover full moon in both the Old and New Testaments. And we’ve discovered the full moon as a picture of completion, wholeness and fulfillment realized in Jesus Christ. This biblical understanding provides practical insight for how we can live fully consecrated lives that reflect the light of Christ in today’s world.
The cycles of the moon remind us of the steadfastness of God’s faithful love – it is always full, complete, and perfect. May this study inspire you to draw closer to the Lord who is constantly inviting you into His fullness. Blessings as you continue reflecting the unchanging light of Jesus in all seasons!