“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).
When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, not only was their manner of life changed, but even the way they kept track of time. A new calendar was established by the Lord beginning around the time of the Exodus, so that each New Year would henceforth automatically make them remember their new beginning when God led them out of bondage in Egypt toward a new land of liberty.
This beginning of months, the month Abib, corresponding approximately to our modern April, was to be marked especially by observance of the Passover supper, on the fourteenth day of the month. The lamb was to be selected for each family on the tenth day of the month, and presumably the first nine days were days of preparation. The week following was to be marked by the use of unleavened bread in each home. The leaven represented the sin which had been purged from the home symbolically by the sacrifice of the lamb and their deliverance by God from bondage in Egypt when He saw the shed blood (note Exodus 12:13).
Although our annual calendar is different from that of Israel, the spiritual significance of their religious New Year can well be applied in our own lives today. We can remember that “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (I Corinthians 5:7), offering special thanks for our great deliverance from sin and death by our “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Then, like the redeemed Israelites, we should likewise “purge out therefore the old leaven, . . . the leaven of malice and wickedness,” and we should feast, instead, on “the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5:7,8). If we would make—and keep—such New Year’s resolutions as these, this month would, indeed, become “the beginning of months” to us. HMM