The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.(Exodus 12:1-2 ESV)
Thus begins the inauguration of the Passover in Exodus 12.......
I do think that it is interesting that the Hebrew calendar starts the New Year (Nisan) closer to Spring. (March/April depending on lunar cycle and adjustments- it is also why Easter moves a lot.)
I have been thinking a lot about God's calendar.... and like everything else He prescribes, it makes too much sense.
So this past Easter Sunday, I made a decision...
I will celebrate with everyone a Happy New Year on January 1 every year. I have no problem with that...but that is the City of Man.
Every Easter, from now on.... I will celebrate as MY SPIRITUAL NEW YEAR....
It is a time to reflect on my conversion.... on what Jesus did for me.... and allow it to be a time of renewal... kind of like new year's resolutions.
Spring is life....winter is death. As I grow older... I have learned to yearn for the spring... it is full of promise and hope.
The reason why T.S. Eliot called April "the cruelest month" was based on the promise of hope... which he and other modernists thought was a false hope.
But not in God's world.....
YES- The earthly kingdom... the symbolic city of Babylon is full of foul dust, decay, and broken dreams.
BUT God's kingdom... the symbolic city of Jerusalem... will flow with eternal waters of life, peace, and joy!
All of the elements come together to help me in this renewal process. I JUST LOVE THE SPRING!
Daylight savings time, life springing from winter.
And it never comes easy... it seems to be a battle between cold and warm, life and death....
Sometimes God does things so significant in one's life or the world that even the calendar is changed.
That is why we should never give in to the pressure to adopt BCE (before common era) in place of BC (Before Christ) and ACE (After Common Era) in place of AD (Anno Domini "in the year of our Lord).
God uses the reality of space/time/history to reveal Himself. Creation declares the glory of the Creator 24-7.
The birds sing to the glory of God- the stars shine to the glory of God.... we should do the same!
But God also invades space/time/history in such a way that the ordinary is suspended and He performs supernatural acts. And everything is interrupted and changed.... permanently.
So for the Christ follower.... HAPPY NEW YEAR!
NISAN: A SPECIAL MONTH- THE MONTH OF BEGINNINGJust look at the significance of Nisan in Jewish history. According to Jewish tradition:Abraham, Issaac, and Jacob were born and they died in the month of Nisan
Spies Helped by Rahab in Nisan- 7 Nisan 1273 BC
Miriam's death- 10 Nisan 1274 BC
Crossing the Jordan-10 Nisan 1273 BC
Haman's decree-13 Nisan 523 BC
The Exodus- 15 of Nisan 1313 BC
The End of Manna- 16 Nisan 1273 BC
Esther before the King- 16 Nisan 523 BC
Death of Joshua- 26 Nisan 1245 BC
Conquest of Jericho-28 Nisan 1273 BC
AND OF COURSE - We mark the Lord's Supper, Good Friday, and Easter in this precious month.
MARK THE NEW BEGINNING- THE CHANGE- SLAVE TO FREE- DEATH TO LIFE
God tells Moses- this month will be the first of the year for you. There is some debate whether this actually signifies a change in the Jewish calendar- but the application is clear. "I am about to do something that will forever be marked as a new beginning."
For Christ followers, the same is true. We do blow out candles to rejoice in our physical birth. We sing Auld Lang Syne every January. But it is also significant, I believe, to point to a spiritual birthday.
In fact, I think it is healthy to study conversion and principles of sanctification and then evaluate your life in a way to pinpoint a conversion. I t may not be an exact moment, but it would be beneficial to search out and commemorate a time where you passed form death to life.
(I do have to laugh as a counter point- an answer given by a Calvinist friend of mine. When you ask him when he was saved he answers: 'Before the foundation of the earth' ( Ephesians 1:4). So for him, I'm asking when did he believe he responded to the effective call of God's spirit in repentance and faith?)
That is a huge moment- a new beginning!
Write that day in your Bible and mark the time each year as you pass it!
Or just mark Easter as a NEW YEAR for your NEW LIFE and celebrate, evaluate, and rededicate yourself to that journey.
But please do not delay... Exodus 12 teaches us an important truth..... Act now in the day of grace and mercy.... the Angel of Death is coming.....
WHEN GOD ACTS- IT IS DECISIVE AND SWIFT
At midnight on this very day in Exodus 12- The Angel of Death struck the Egyptians.
When God says Go- there is no delay.
There will be a day when the Lord will say, 'No More Delay', and the door of mercy in His Son will be forever closed.
What is keeping you from deciding for Him now while there is time?
The clock is ticking- your heart is a muffled drum beat going on a march to eternity.
THE DAYS ARE NUMBERED
Exodus 12 points out exact timing of entry and exits. Hebrews says 'it is appointed once for man to die'.
What special days are marked in your life?
My prayer is that salvation and new birth is noted and beneficial in your walk of faith.