“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first moth of the year to you” (Exodus 12:12).
For God to make an entirely new beginning is significant enough to captivate all our attention. His people are in the land of Egypt—to them the land of bondage and death—and it is to such a people that this glad message of God’s New Year is sent. The chapters containing this message (12 and 13) are so instilled with New Testament atmosphere that our hearts are captivated by the revelation of the Paschal Lamb, whose blood was to shelter and whose flesh was to nourish and strengthen.
The “Passover” marks a departure in the ways of God. Redemption now becomes the ground of a new relation between God and man. The blessed God brings into view the Lamb of His own providing. Abraham, in a former day, climbed to the top of mount Moriah and witnessed the demonstration of the same glorious truth—a truth, indeed, published at the very beginning in the promise of the woman’s seed. As for God’s people, they would henceforth be upon entirely new ground, and would walk consciously before Him as a blood-bought people. It is this character of life that is alone suitable for God’s New Year.
The message to the people of God was complete. It tells of judgment and safety; of food and discipline and self-judgment. It was truly the tidings of Christ coming into this scene to carry out the will of God. The blood, which was for God, was without on the lintel; whilst within, for the people, the lamb was roast with fire. This was God’s gift in wondrous love to His sheltered people. The searching fire of divine judgment brought out from that precious Lamb nothing but the most sweet and acceptable fragrance for God; and there, too, for the people was nourishment and strength for the journey from the land of bondage to the land of promise. With what delight would the Spirit of God richly engage our hearts with the marvelous worth and work of Jesus. Do we appreciate this most precious Lamb of God’s providing? Are our souls being nourished upon the roasted lamb, eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs so that we cannot by any means be mistaken for the citizen of this ungodly world?
For us the message of God’s New Year is that we leave behind our affections for the world, the land of bondage and death, the land which denies God and all that is heavenly, and journey, as divinely led and nourished along the path that faith opens up before us. Safe in the knowledge of accomplished redemption; satisfied with the blessed Man now in the glory, who in His unmeasured love came right down to where we were in order that He might have us where He is, let us “eat” and let us “remember,” for in so doing we shall not only fill our own souls with delight but will carry such fragrance of Christ as shall extol Him in the eyes of others and bring pleasure to the heart of the blessed God Himself.