How Jesus celebrated the new year

January 2, 2012

The modern new year is an interesting phenomenon. Millions and millions across the world gather to celebrate the changing of a number. Calendars, mobile phones, and checks for the next 364 days will now prominently display a "2" at the end of the date. Somehow this man-made milestone gives permission to so many for a drunken revelry followed by new "resolutions" to change eating and workout habits, most of which have no real impetus and never see any real fulfillment.

However, Jesus is not reevaluating His life, His words, or His plan for the days ahead. With so much babble in and out of the body of Christ about 2012, we must not allow ourselves to become entangled in cords of confusion. Our hope as believers is that Jesus will return, raise the dead, and rule all of the nations in righteousness from Jerusalem. In light of this hope, the Bible constantly exhorts us to live soberly and expectantly, eagerly waiting for that great Day:

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” (1 Peter 1:13 NKJV)

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:11-14 NKJV)

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ," (Titus 2:11-13 NKJV)

From Heaven's perspective - nothing has really changed. The Lord still sits sovereignly over all, in patient longsuffering for His Day, and thus our witness, expectation, and hope as believers should not change. 2011 has come and gone, and with this new year we must be acutely aware that we are advancing closer and closer to His Day. May we live soberly and with urgency in 2012, setting our hope completely on the day of the Lord and the dawning of the new age of righteousness.

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About the author

Joshua Hawkins is a pastor, Bible teacher, and content creator for disciples of Jesus from College Station, Texas. He co-hosts The Apocalyptic Gospel Podcast, a weekly audio show exploring how a first century Jew would have understood the Gospel. He's also an all-around tech nerd and enjoys road cycling.

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