A New Year is really just a clever illusion, nothing has changed yet we all feel we get a fresh start. We hope that in 2013 we will somehow be different from who we were 2012. We really want this to be true but deep down we know it isn’t … like when the magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat. We hope that we can escape the mistakes of last year and suddenly become an entirely new person. But can we ever really become a ‘new you’?
Jesus’ answer to the question of being freed from past mistakes has little to do with midnight on New Year’s Eve and everything to do with being born again. Spiritual regeneration and sins washed away through faith in Him is the means to a different future, a ‘new you’ (John 3v1-7). Forgiveness from Jesus promises a different future, one not predestined by destructive cycles of our past.
The forgiveness Jesus offers is primarily with God the Father but also includes offering & receiving forgiveness to one another… and to ourselves. His forgiveness offers a sympathetic reading of our past, it helps us to look back and see things to value & celebrate. Forgiveness isn’t interested in instant magic of new beginnings, rather it creates genuine expectations of our future.
There is no way of dealing with the ‘new you’ of 2013 that doesn’t involve dealing with the ‘old you’. The key to this is forgiveness. Of course, forgiving others & ourselves is incredibly hard to outwork on our own (let alone getting right with God). In fact it is impossible. That's why Jesus had to come. He came because we couldn’t do this. Because He came, now we can.
The giant of unforgiveness, that once mocked God’s people, has now been slain by our true and greater saviour, Jesus. If you want to be a ‘new you’ in 2013, forget the diet plans, and outwork the forgiveness Jesus won for us.