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Happy New Year!

James

How many millions of times is this said at midnight on 31st December. As the 1st of January arrives well wishes abound.

Not everyone celebrates on the 1st January of course. Different cultures can have different dates for New Year –e.g. Chinese, Jewish. Even in this country it was not always 1st January. Up until 1600 in Scotland New Year was on the 25 March. (England and Wales did not change to the 1st January until 1751!) It is based on our twelve month Gregorian calendar.

It is a time to look back and also look forward; A time for reflection and resolution.

There is a different type of New Year mentioned in the Bible – a spiritual one. In Exodus chapter 12 we read of the original Passover. The specially selected lamb – a foreshadow of Christ – was sacrificed and its blood applied to the doorposts and lintel of the houses of the Jews in Egypt. On the basis of the protection of the blood of the lamb the firstborn sons in each household were safe from God’s judgement for sin, and the nation of Israel was released from their slavery in Egypt.

The Passover took place in the Jewish month Abib. Abib was not the first month in the calendar year yet God says in Chapter 12v2 “This month shall be the beginning of months, it shall be the first month of the year to you” i.e. the beginning of a new life is marked by the beginning of a new year.

However in any house unprotected by the blood of the Lamb tragedy would have struck. The firstborn son would have died, unprotected from God’s judgement.

At Christmas we celebrated the Son of God coming into the world. He was the appointed Lamb of God who died on a cross and shed His Precious Blood. He did this out of love for us, providing the opportunity to have our sins forgiven. By repenting of out sin and placing our faith in Him our sins will be forgiven and we will be protected from God’s judgement for sin.

Perhaps some readers have not yet accepted Christ as the Savour- don’t know the joy of salvation. If you do so it will be a completely new beginning in your life and you, in a total new way, will look forward to a Really Happy New Year.