Happy Biblical New Year! Our family is celebrating tonight, while many around the world have already celebrated or will celebrate soon.
As with all Biblical holidays, there are differences of opinion on exactly when they fall. Some follow the Jewish rabbinical calendar which goes by the predicted scientific new moon (when we visually see nothing), others wait until they see the first sliver of new moon themselves (the Biblical definition of a new moon), and others wait to hear that it has been seen in Israel. This used to really stress me out until it was explained to me that the best translation of the Hebrew word for the feasts or Biblical holidays includes the idea that they are a “rehearsal.” We are rehearsing the story of redemption year after year until it is completed by our Messiah! For the spring feasts, we rehearse and retell what He has already done and completed in His first coming. For the fall ones, we rehearse for His second coming! Have you ever been to a rehearsal where everything is perfect? Me either, and that’s kind of the point of rehearsing. We get a little better each time so that we are ready for the main event. Each celebration is another reminder of how much we need our Messiah because we can’t do this celebration or anything else without Him! And I love that we have to look up to the sky to even try and figure out when to celebrate! It really highlights for me how no one knew when He would come the first time and we don’t know when He will come the second time!
I am finding this Biblical New Year and the days leading up to Passover particularly meaningful this year. (I always do, but this year is unique.) When YHWH told Moses and the Israelites in Exodus 12:2 that this new moon was to mark the New Year for them, they were in the midst of living through the plagues in Egypt and waiting for His deliverance at Passover. This year, I feel a new appreciation for what it might have been like to live through a plague! I can hardly imagine nine of them in a row, but I feel like I have a much better appreciation for the atmosphere in Egypt at the first Biblical New Year than I ever have before.
I hope to share more over the next few days about our days leading up to Passover and how we celebrate each of the spring feasts. If any of you are interested in celebrating Passover in your home this year, I’d love to help you with some resources. It is simple and beautiful and a fantastic way to see the big picture of salvation through our Messiah! But for now, let me just say, “Happy New Year!”