On New Year’s Eve night, friends and family gathered in our kitchen, their eyes fixed on the large clock hanging high on the wall. We waited anxiously as seconds ticked by. The second hand reached the ten; we all began counting aloud. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Happy New Year! Oddly enough, many of the same family and friends had stood in the same spot the year before, watching the same clock, and yelling the same phrase as we rang in 2011. Now 2011 was gone, 2012 had come, and if the Lord tarries, we will cheer in 2013 in twelve more months.
I originally wrote this article for The Christian Pulse last January so these events refer to last year. And yet, here we are, Christ did tarry and we did ring in 2013. Perhaps we’ll still be here to celebrate 2014…
That’s the way life is; things wear out, times change, and new things always come. The new and exciting of today will be the garbage of tomorrow.
However, this isn’t the case for one part of our life. A relationship with our Savior Jesus is full of many new things that will never wear out and never need replacement. They will be as sufficient fifty years from now, or a thousand years into eternity, as they are the moment we receive them.
God gives us new life when we enter a relationship with Jesus. Because Jesus rose from the dead, “we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4). Not only does our new birth give us hope of our own resurrection, but it also gives the promise of an imperishable inheritance awaiting us in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).
We are a new creation. “The old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This transformation is even more important than following the law (Galatians 6:15). Our new self is “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” and is “being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10 NIV, respectively).
We live our lives under a new command. Jesus simplified the 613 commands of the Old Testament to loving God and others with your whole being (John 13:34, Matthew 22:36-40).
New Heaven and a New Earth
We await a resurrected life in a new heaven and new earth. This future “home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13) is described; “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
A new covenant makes all of this possible. The sacrifices and requirements of the Old Testament no longer regulate us. Jesus mediated a new covenant through His death; He forgave our sins once and for all (Hebrews 8-10).
What better time than a new year to accept His eternal forgiveness for sins and walk in the newness of life with Him?