As another New Year dawns, the Bible would say there isn't really anything new about it. Sure, some different things will happen, but they are not really "new" things. No, if you stop and think about it, everything that will happen in 2016 has already happened before. All of our politics, all of our news items and top stories, already happened at some other time in history. The problem for many people today is that few seem to realize that life has been going on exactly the same way it has been from the beginning, long before we arrived on the scene. This replay of the past, under the label of "new," inspired King Solomon to write in Ecclesiastes 1:10, "Is there anything of which one can say, 'Look! This is something new'? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time."
Perhaps it is this failure to learn from the past that has led people to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. As a matter of fact, every news item today has already had many books written about it long ago that few people see as relevant for today. The automotive legend Henry Ford was quoted as saying, "History is more or less bunk." Ford was not alone in his rejection of the past lessons of history. He is joined by many of our modern leaders that convince an unsuspecting public that their ideas or plans are "new" and worthy of support, when in fact they are old, worn out ideas that have failed the test of time.
If we want to grow as a student of the Bible, we need to remember that the Lord uses the past to give us a way to interpret the present and prepare for the future. A good example of this is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Our Lord died in the past, but that glorious event interprets today and prepares us for the future. The Lord takes all the Bible's stories and just replays them over and over and over. Only the names change. The events and their meaning is always the same. So when you see Adam and Eve looking for knowledge and personal power at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, all they are doing is logging on to the Internet of their day. There is truly nothing new under the Sun.
It surely is a tragedy to be stuck in the old of everything, with no hope of ever finding anything really new. And yet, the Lord in His grace and love for us changed all of that by bringing in the new Himself. You see the only really new thing that ever happened in all of human history was the entrance of a Man into the world without sin. When the Lord Jesus Christ was born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, He was the only Man in history to be totally new. Not only was our Lord totally new, but His resurrected body, following His death on the Cross for our sins, was also totally new. The Lord Jesus' body was the first body in history that was resurrected into a perfect state that would never change throughout all of eternity. That kind of new should take our breath away. We call that new the Gospel or Good News.
Now the remarkable thing about the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ is that our Lord's New will one day become our New. A future day is coming soon when all of the Lord's people will be like Jesus. We won't be the Son of God. We won't be God in the flesh. However, we will share our Lord's humanity without sin and we will have a totally new body that will last forever, just like our Lord's (I John 3:2). We will have a newness of life that is beyond anything we can know now. All of this will eventually lead to a New Heaven and Earth according the Bible (Revelation 21). The Lord will have made all of us a part of a truly New Creation that will never end.
So as we head into 2016, let's be on the lookout for those promising us something "new," whether it is from a politician or the latest advertising and public relations campaign. The ONLY truly new this world will ever know is the Lord Jesus Christ, His Person, His Work and His Life for us all.