What is this Jubilee that is mentioned in Leviticus 25? Why is it tied in to the Day of Atonement and why did God say it is something important that the Israelites needed to do? This afternoon I have three R's that you can remember that may help in the meaning of the Jubilee and the Day of Atonement.
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A few years ago as a young minister, I was seeking advice ….. okay… many years ago, as a young minister, I was seeking advice on what do you speak on, on the Day of Atonement? Well, this very sage old time minister said, don't be chicken. Be sure you don't water down the word. Give them a full spiritual meal otherwise they will think you're a turkey! Remind them that man does not live by bread alone; tell about the fruits of the Spirit and maybe I could be the apple of their eye. But be sure and give them meat in due season, not just milk of the Word and if they beef about it, just let them stew. But he said, whatever you do don't talk about food!
Turn to Leviticus 25:8And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. See All... . We are focusing on chapter 25 of Leviticus for just a little bit so if you've got a little ribbon or marker you might want to put it there. We will come back and forth to Leviticus 25 a couple of times throughout the message this afternoon.
A couple of things to be aware of as you're turning over there: This takes place, in Leviticus 25, after the Israelites were freed from Egypt. They are no longer slaves in Egypt, they are free; they are in the Promised Land and yet there are some challenges that they faced. What was the economy like? You think the economy is bad now – they had their own challenges back then. Do you know what their economy was based on? It was based on agriculture; it was based on the land, agriculture. If people were going to survive, they had it based on the land. The land was their life. Have you ever heard that song, the Exodus? Wow! It is the land. That is what that song is all about. Listen to the lyrics of that thing sometime.
The Israelites were given the land by God. It was the Promised Land and so every Israelite had land to grow food that was necessary for their survival, for their family, and if they ever lost their land, most often times they became destitute. So keep that in your mind as we read Leviticus 25:8And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. See All... and it ties in to the Day of Atonement. Notice what it says here:
Leviticus 25:8And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. See All... ‘And you shall count seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; (that is 49 years) and the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.
V.9 – Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement (that is today) you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.
V.10 – And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.
V.11 – That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.
V.12 – For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.
So we see the year 50 was important in ancient Israel. On the Day of Atonement it began the Jubilee. So what is this Jubilee that it is talking about? Why is it tied in to the Day of Atonement and why did God say it is something important that they needed to do? Well, this afternoon I have three R's that you can remember that may help in the meaning of the Jubilee and the Day of Atonement. Three R's this afternoon and no, they are not Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, which I never understood why it was one of the R's but ‘Rithmetic is – three R's - but this is something a little bit differently.
When you think of the word Jubilee right here in Leviticus 25, if you were to look that up in Hebrew do you know what it would refer to? The Ram's horn; the Shofar. It is another word for the Shofar, the "Yowbel", the Shofar, and that announced the beginning of the Jubilee. In fact that Hebrew word eventually became associated with the Latin word in Greek and the Greek word was "Jubilum", like you were jubilant in English, jubilum, and that's where the word Jubilee then became a part of our Bible - Jubilee.
And so on the Day of Atonement that high priest would go into the Holy of Holies; he would sacrifice for the people to atone for them and that horn at the end of that 49th year would be blown because the 50th became the Jubilee and it meant first and foremost a release.
That is our first R: A release.
They would release all the slaves. All the bondservants would be freed. So today we could put that into effect and we could be released from services right now. Oh no, we don't want to do that, but that is the idea of the Jubilee. The slaves, the bondservants, would be released and it would happen on the Day of Atonement.
Can you think of why that would be? Probably the significance of being released on the Day of Atonement because there was this representation of freedom. It was a free gift to the people. A gift to sinful people. It was not something they deserved; not something they earned but something that God gave them. Once you were slaves you were slaves until the Jubilee. You see once we are slaves to sin. Without the sacrifice of Christ we are slaves to sin and it is through His sacrifice that He gave on our behalf that we have freedom from sin. Jubilee is about forgiveness. We are released just like those slaves were released from their enslavement. We are freed from sin because of the sacrifice of Christ.
So the law spoke of the cancellation of their debt that held them as physical slaves. You see forgiveness of debt to us has great spiritual significance, doesn't it? If you were to look over to Matthew 6:12, part of the sample prayer, sometimes called the Lords prayer - remember what Christ spoke? He talked about the fact that God needed to forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors, those owe us.
If you flip over to Luke 11 – hold your place here in Leviticus – Luke 11:4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. See All... says it a little bit differently. It is a parallel passage of the sample prayer but over in Luke 11 it brings this meaning a little bit clearer as it is connected to Atonement and connected to release. He recorded it a little bit differently.
Luke 11:4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. See All... And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive those who are indebted to us.
The New King James says: For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
You see there is an example that we are to pass on. Christ set the example. He died for our sins. Our sins are forgiven through the sacrifice of Christ. We are released from sin. Atonement represents that release just like slaves were released as being slaves of sin. We can be released from sin itself and the penalty that sin carries.
And so we have to step back for a minute and think well, what kind of freedom is that? What kind of freedom is that? Most of the religious world doesn't understand the freedom that we have in Christ. It is not freedom from something but I think it is better thought of in the context of freedom to something because if we think it is freedom from, it is pretty shallow. Freedom to something – when you think about the Jubilee, it was a celebration.
We are now not indebted to some physical master, we have freedom because of what God has done for us and we are free now to obey God. We are not enslaved to some master and it is the same for us today. We have the freedom in Christ to obey God. We have the freedom to follow God's law and His love and His way. Can you imagine the way the people would look forward to the Jubilee in ancient times? Who would look forward to that? Those who were slaves. What would be the mindset of a slave as the Jubilee approached? Yes! I can't wait!
What if you were the owner? What if you were the one that owned those slaves? What would that landowner who owned those slaves have to understand? What if you had accumulated others' land who, because they became destitute, they had to sell it and suddenly the 50th year came and you had to give it back? What would your mind set be at that time? What would it be like today to have a Jubilee? Do you think there will be rejoicing? It depends on which side of the fence you're on, that's the thing. But what would be your attitude? There had to be a special approach to this whether you were the landowner or whether you were the slave because you knew it was God's will that that happened.
Well, for us, what is our attitude? What is our attitude when it comes to Jubilee? Did these people have to work and have to put forth effort to make the Jubilee happen? They didn't. It was a free gift of God, wasn't it? Well, what is our attitude toward work? Why do we work? What is our attitude toward rest? What is our attitude toward what my role is as opposed to what God's role is in my development as a Christian? What is God doing for us?
There is an amazing passage over in Romans 8:31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? See All... . When we put our perspective toward work, toward God, toward growing as Christians in the perspective of Atonement and Jubilee it begins to take on a little bit of a different outlook, doesn't it? Romans 8:31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? See All... - certainly a reminder of what we strive for as our perspective, as our attitude.
Romans 8:31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? See All... What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
He sets the tone by saying:
V.32 – He who did not spare His own Son , - the Son who atoned for oursins – but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
V.33 – Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
V.34 – Who is he who condemns? It is Crist who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
V.35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
You see, God has called us not by any of our own doing. He has opened our mind to His truth; because we have repented He forgives us of our sin; because of Christ's atoning sacrifice we can be justified with God, we can be right with God; we can have our sins forgiven and so as God's people, as His Church, we're to be a beacon of freedom. We are to be a beacon of that release that God has freely given us.
So when you think about that in the context of Atonement and the Jubilee, imagine what life is like out there beyond the walls around us. They are trapped in sin; they are enslaved and they don't even know it. They don't even know it but what do we proclaim? You know through the gospel we proclaim liberty; we proclaim freedom. That is what the true Gospel is all about. God has released us from being slaves to sin and now we are free to be slaves to Christ. That is ultimate freedom. We have the wonderful opportunity to obey God in our lives and so every 50th year was a reminder to Israel that there is freedom. There is release and ultimately it reflects that great spiritual freedom, that great spiritual release, that we have.
And 50 years was important. Why did God just choose 50? Was it just a random kind of a thing? I think one of the reasons was because it would force every generation to experience Jubilee; every generation would experience it. The way that you look back on you know, life spans and things, every generation would have an opportunity to experience what it was like.
What an amazing thing that is. It is a reminder that God wants every generation to repent and change and come to the knowledge of God. He doesn't wish any to perish but all to come to repentance. Atonement is a reminder of that; that God is looking forward to that time when this world will be released from sin.
That brings us to a second R. The second R was the Return.
The land was to be returned to the original owners. So it wasn't about only being released from prison, from being imprisoned or enslaved, but the land was to go back to the original owners; the return of the land. Imagine if that would be happening today. That would be pretty tough. We would all give all our land back to the Native Americans. I guess we will have to do something like that. That would be a pretty difficult situation if you were a good, healthy landowner.
Now back in Leviticus 25. Let's notice what it said about this. There is an interesting connection here with the land reverting to the original owners and the Day of Atonement. Here is some instruction on the Jubilee, which occurred on this day, the Day of Atonement.
Leviticus 25:13In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession. See All... ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.
Literally, that's the property.
V.14 – And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another.
So if you were to buy their land you're not supposed to be oppressive in that. Just because they are desperate, don't take advantage of them in other words.
V.15 – According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you.
V.16 – According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops.
V.17 - Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.
God was to be at the heart of any transaction when it came to the land because the land meant life. So the property value was based, not on how much you could sponge out of somebody but was based on the number of years since the last Jubilee. How many harvests would there be till the next one? So it was based on the harvests that were to come so as to be calculated fairly for everyone. And so in a sense what was sold was really not the land because the land was going to go back to the original owner eventually, wouldn't it?
So what was sold? The number of crops till the next Jubilee. That's really, and technically when you get down to it, that's really what was actually sold. So in a sense it was more of a limited lease kind of situation. The land was still the landowner's, whoever was the original owner of that land, but the new owner basically could farm that land and take the crops until the next Jubilee. That's when it went back to its original owner. So it is an amazing situation what was happening here. What a great lesson when it comes to returning the land because it was based on the number of crops.
Well, how much are we growing? How many harvests are remaining in our life? Well, it is an interesting scenario to begin to think about. We could walk out of the door and get into a car accident and that would be the end of it right there and so what value do we place on growing in God's eyes?
That's an important situation that happened on the Atonement - that they went back to that Jubilee that happened on Atonement to determine the value. Well, what is the value of the crop that we are producing? How do we measure up? If we had to sell, what would it be worth? Would that value be high? Have we grown spiritually since the last Jubilee, since the last Atonement? Where are we in the market?
It is interesting that during that Jubilee that God gave instructions to the people not to plant. They weren't to plant; they weren't to reap but they had to let the land rest and so it was an amazing situation. Look at Leviticus 25:18Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. See All.... The land had to sit there not just for one year, but it actually had to sit there for two years in a row. Two years in a row. Because of the Jubilee there was a land-rest. So this was a little out of the ordinary. You might wonder, well, how are they going to eat? Two years they can't farm. That's a long time. That is a very long time.
Leviticus 25:18Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. See All... ‘So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land safely.
So there is a promise God made. If they obeyed the law He would provide.
V.19 - Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.
V.20 – ‘And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?"
V.21 – Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.
You see it had to be three, not just for two. It laid for two years but that third year they could plant but it would take that whole year before the crops grew, right? So really we are talking not just laying fallow for two years but then waiting for the crops to be ready that third year. Talk about stepping out on faith! That's an amazing thing. These physical people with a mainly physical perspective had to step out in faith that God would absolutely without a doubt keep His promise. I like the way that's worded there – Christ speaking these things as the God of the Old Testament. It's amazing that He says that He will perform it. He will perform it. He says:
V.21 - I will command My blessing.
That is a pretty cool way to say it, isn't it? When you think about God, He is commanding a blessing on His people. He is not just saying you will be blessed, but I am commanding it. There is no doubt. This is going to happen.
So what an amazing circumstance. He makes that promise, it is going to carry over and not only that, you are going to be protected from war; you are going to be safe; it is going to be peaceful. So it wasn't a time to plant, it wasn't a time to harvest. It was a time to look to God as the ultimate provider. God will provide. It was a time to rejoice in all the wonderful things that God has done. He commanded the blessing. What are we going to eat? It is not just like oh, we are just going to make sure we track every thing we have and don't eat too much. We are going to ration everything out. He said, no! That is not the way it is supposed to be. He says we are going to have enough. This commanded blessing – it is commanded that you will eat, oh, just enough? No, back in Leviticus 25:19And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. See All... - you will eat your fill . You will eat your fill! You won't be starving; you won't have to ration things. God was providing. That is what it was pointing to and so here was a fantastic time of great blessing.
So if we put ourselves in that position, how hard would it be to trust God for everything, for basically three years in a row? Everything. Kroger's is closed, sorry. You can't go there for your food. You've got your land and whatever comes up you are going to have to trust God. It is going to take faith, isn't it? It is going to take faith. It had to be a little bit frightening to believe that God would really come through but as they trusted God it had to be a wonderful blessing. They had to believe in that God commanded that blessing.
I think for us - what a great reminder. What a great spiritual lesson for us, returning. Returning. As we think about that land being returned to its rightful owners, what about us? Who owns us? Well, God owns us, doesn't He? We have to be sure we here have returned to God. If we trust; we obey God; we believe His word; whatever our circumstance is and for some right now it is pretty dire circumstances. The outlook is grim – but do we look to God? Is God truly our Provider? Do we really trust and obey Him in everything? Do we really believe He will provide for us?
He promises that He will. He will watch out for us and it is a reminder – we have to make sure that our life is in His hands. If there are areas of our lives that are just under our control, we have to return that part back to God. We've got to make sure that God is our owner, my career, my family. Everything we have, everything we own, that belongs to God. So have we returned everything back into the hands of God and realized you know, I am really not the owner because when I die I am not taking it with. You can't take it with you. We all know that. See, it belongs to God.
It is always a remarkable thing. Not too long ago I had been at one of these auctions and someone had died; the estate went up for auction. It just astounded me. It was a huge farm so all these things were going and within a matter of three hours the tractors, all the implements, the house, the trailers, everything – people carted it away. It was gone and as I stood there and watched this it was just a reminder that it doesn't really belong to you. It doesn't really belong to you. It belongs to God and so even our very lives. So God says, be a faithful steward. Make sure your life is in My hands. Make sure you are there.
Now it is also interesting – there is a connection here in this return of the land that if you lived in a city, if you sold your house in the city you had a year that you could buy it back, that you could redeem it. After that, the cities were not redeemable. So in the Jubilee nothing went back to its original owners. As I thought about that, why in the world wouldn't the cities go back? If you sold the house, why wouldn't that go back to you? Well, I couldn't' come up with a whole lot. Let's just speculate a little bit. What is going to happen to the cities of this world when Christ returns? What is going to the governments of this world, those that rule over the cities? Well, that is going to be over. That is going to be done. That is going to be finished.
But on the other hand if you lived in the city and you were a Levite that land was returned. That city dwelling was returned to you because the priests were under a different rule. They didn't have land. Remember God didn't give them land as they came into the Promised Land so they just had houses; they had cities. Those cities were redeemable. That did have an effect during those times.
And so it is an amazing connection there. Who is our High Priest? Well, we heard a little bit earlier: Christ is our High Priest. He is the One that redeems us. He is the One that buys us back from the ways of this world. Remember, back in the book of Hebrews, where it said Abraham looked forward to a city that has foundations. Not foundations in man's way, not like a man's city but like a Levitical city, like a priestly city. Well, what is the priestly city that is coming? The New Jerusalem. So we look forward to that.
Atonement forces us to look forward to the time that God will establish His city, the New Jerusalem, and the Jubilee was a tremendous foretaste of what was coming, what still is just on the horizon for us that we can look forward too. Hopefully we all have been reverted back to our religious Owner, our original Owner that is God. We are no longer of the world; we are sons and daughters of God. We are living His way; we have dedicated our lives to Him, through no good of our own, through none of our own actions that earned us those things but because God loves us and cares for us, and Christ died for our sins. We need to be sure that's where we're at.
I think God gives us the Holy Days to step back from ourselves a little bit and take another survey, take inventory of ourselves a little bit in where we're at. Every knee will bow; every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord. That will happen. Atonement points us that way a little bit, doesn't it, as we return and make sure we are in the hands of God.
Now the third R is Revitalize.
Revitalize – You see, that land lay fallow, uncultivated. It just sat there. It was resting. Isn't that interesting? How was the land regenerated? It was by resting; by not being plowed up; by not having crops. It was replenished; it was restored by rest; it was revitalized. So it was not being cultivated, not domesticated, you might say.
As I began to think about that: If we had to put our faith, our reliance on God out in terms of the land – what is our spiritual soil like? Are we revitalized? Are we able to allow that soil to grow the way that God wants it to grow? Is that what we can do?
He said to let it lay fallow or let it grow wild, some translations say. Can we let our faith go wild? Now that doesn't mean crazy. It doesn't mean wild like that – out of control wild, but are we willing to step out on faith? This was a great act of faith for the Israelites to step out for those three years waiting for the next crop. It seems too often I am trying to find something that's comfortable. You know this is convenient, this is nice, this is easy. Well, that's kind of more domesticated, right?
Was that what God wants us to do when it comes to our faith? If we get too comfortable, that doesn't seem what God is after, does it? God doesn't want us to be comfortable. I think He wants us to grow and that means putting our faith in His hands. Can we allow our faith to grow wild in a Godly manner? It is about stepping out. Sometimes we have to take a risk. These people were taking a risk when they didn't plant in that 49th year. Well, are we ready to take a risk to show that our faith is a living faith that is dependent on God?
There is a great passage in Romans 12:1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. See All.... Flip over there – it kind of ties in with the offering that we collected today as well. It is a significant passage that shows how yes, we do still sacrifice today but it is not bulls and goats, not heifers, none of those kinds of things. It is a different kind of sacrifice. It is a faithful sacrifice.
Romans 12:1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. See All... I beseech you therefore, brethren, by die mercies of God , - Atonement certainly reminds us of the great mercies God has poured out on us –
V.1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service .
V.2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
You see that is part of the message of the Jubilee. That's the message of Atonement, that we are to be transformed by the revitalization of our mind. Our minds have to be renewed; they have to be revitalized; they have to be reconstructed so that they are a spiritual creation.
So we have that regeneration that is found in Christ. We have that revitalization, that restoration, and in a sense it is also a reminder that God is not done with us yet. As long as we are living and breathing, God is not done with us yet. He wants us to grow even further and in one way that is a wonderful thing.
That is a wonderful thing that in a sense God is taking a DVD of our life. He is not just taking snap shots because if He took snap shots, imagine what some of those snap shots might be. Sometimes we've been in pretty bad places. Those snap shots would hold us in those places but God's got a living, spiritual DVD, I suppose you could say. He takes a movie in other words that we can continue to grow; we can continue to overcome; we don't have to be pigeon holed as, oh yeah, that's the way they are. No, through Atonement, through the sacrifice of Christ God wants us to continue to grow, to continue to be renewed.
He wants us to be forgiven and so we know the one who doesn't want us to be free. We know the one that wants us to be shackled like he is going to be shackled. We know who that is and God says, no, that is not what I have in mind for you. I have freedom through the sacrifice of Christ and so we can have that revitalization of our mind and part of that comes with the rest that the land pictured. We can have rest; we can be revitalized.
Of course that goes against most of the ways of life that we experience around us, the 21st century version of "Come unto Me all ye who are heavy laden", right? You see the modern version of that – I will give you a frenzied, crazy activity of endless busyness. That's the way most of the world looks at that.
Christ said He will give us rest and I think that ties in with Atonement and the Jubilee as this revitalization. On the Sabbath day God gives us one day in seven to rest, to be rejuvenated, and that is part of what this Jubilee was all about. You couldn't work. God said, no work to be done. Atonement reminds us of that. You don't even prepare food on this day. On the Sabbath you can prepare food but not on Atonement. There is no work, none: nothing to be done. It is a reminder that there is growth in rest.
If we focus that rest in a spiritual way there can be spiritual growth but that takes that stepping out in faith. That means we have to trust God, really trust God. It's not trusting God about what things happened in the past because that is already over and done, but it means stepping out in faith for what's ahead because that is what the Jubilee was all about. What lies ahead? How will I be provided for? Well, only God could provide for them and so it is the same for us spiritually speaking and you know if you're willing to take a risk – I mean, who do you take a risk with? Probably only the ones that you trust, someone that you really trust are you willing to take a risk. We saw, not too long ago, the banks took a lot of risks on people that probably weren't very trustworthy and part of the reason we are in this mess that we're in, this whole economic downturn, right? But you see for us, we trust people. We will take risks with them.
Well, can we trust God? Can we trust God? There is an amazing connection when you look back at Luke 4. Luke 4 speaks to how much we can trust our awesome God and our Savior Jesus Christ. This is not often ready in context of Atonement but it certainly fits when we see what Christ spoke here, here at the very beginning of His physical ministry. He opened the scroll in the synagogue one Sabbath day and He read and what He read was taken from Isaiah 61 but here in Luke 4 we notice the words that He spoke.
Luke 4:14And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. See All... He opens the scroll and it is an amazing circumstance. It says He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee; the news spread as He began His ministry.
V.17 – And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written;
Notice what He read:
V.18 – "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;
V.19 – To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
V.20 – Then He closed the book.
You see Christ promised in this passage the very same characteristics of the Jubilee: preaching good news. It was good news when the slaves were released. That was tremendous news. It was the gospel to the poor; those who were destitute; those who had become enslaved. They were proclaimed freedom to those who were imprisoned in servitude and so they were released from oppression, those who were downtrodden, those who were crushed, those who were broken. He proclaimed the year of the Lord's favor.
That harkens right back to the Jubilee. And so what a phenomenal thing when He proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord, the time of God's favor. That certainly would mean the time of Jubilee but you know the cool part of what He is saying here? He said we don't have to wait for a Jubilee for that to happen. Christ came to make that a wonderful event now. We don't have to wait 50 years! We can have this freedom. We can have this release. We can have this restoration and revitalization right now. We don't have to wait. We have that in Christ.
When we are converted and we dedicate our lives to Him; we go under that water and we bury the old man. We come up a new creation, obeying the law of God, keeping His commandments. We find freedom from the ways of this world and sin through that dedication to God and that forgiveness of sin.
And so we find that tied in with the Jubilee. It was a phenomenal event that occurred and so when that blast of that horn sounded in ancient Israel it also looked forward to the acceptable year of the Lord; it looked forward to the time of the establishment of the Kingdom of God. It was almost a type of that seventh trumpet, that final trumpet that meant the return of Jesus Christ when all slaves will be free from the slavery of sin. It was an end to the greedy landowners. The land would go back to those who deserved it.
What a tremendous significance we find in the Jubilee and the spiritual significance that it holds for us. It holds the fact that there was a release of the land but more importantly today we have a release from sin and the penalty of sin. It certainly stood for the return of the land going back to its owners but we are bought back already by our Owner. God has bought us back so we don't have to be slaves to sin and we can be revitalized right now, today. We are to grow and let that faith of ours grow and be revitalized because we have God's plan. We understand the sacrifice of Christ and He lives in us and through us.
What a remarkable journey it is and the Day of Atonement is a reminder of that. So let's be sure that as we complete the Day of Atonement and we look forward to the Feast that we let that spiritual Jubilee horn sound forth.
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