The Year of Jubilee!

Scripture reading for February 10: Leviticus 24-27

In our culture, Golden anniversaries are special.  When a couple has been together 50 years there is always a celebration!  God also uses the 50th year as a special year.  He called it the year of Jubilee!  It was a year of freedom and restoration for all of God’s people.  On the 50th year, debts were to be forgiven and property that was taken or bought from the original owner was restored and given back.  On this year, no one was to work the land.  The land would be left to rest and whatever grew without any human effort was to  be used for food for the people.  It was a blessed time that the people looked forward to.  It pictured the reign of Messiah, when he would come and restore the fortunes and possessions of his people and vanquish their enemies.

The Jubilee was the culmination of 7 periods of 7 years.  After 6 years, the Israelites were to rest their land for a year.  God promised to provide enough for them in the 6th year to carry them through until the harvest of the 8th year.  There were to be 7 cycles of 7 years and following the 49th year, on the Day of Atonement, the priests were to sound the trumpet and announce the beginning of the Year of Jubilee! (Leviticus 25:8-10) What a joyous occasion!  God giving us a picture of his amazing restoration and rule of grace!

The problem was that the Israelites never took the Sabbath years every 7th year and they never did have a Year of Jubilee.  They knew about it because of Leviticus but failed to do what God asked.  When we fail to obey, God always has his way.  The Israelites went for 7o years of captivity in Babylon so that the land where they had lived and neglected God’s command could have it’s rest! (2nd Chronicles 36:20-21)  God has the final word!

In the New Testament we find the Jubilee in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, verses 18-19.  Jesus announces his calling and ministry by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2.  The proclamation of the “year of the Lord’s favor” is a reference to “Jubilee”!  Jesus is our Jubilee!  In him, we have restoration and a return of our stolen property.  God wants us to find our food, fulfillment, and blessing from his grace, not our own efforts!  Jubilee is a picture of Jesus’ provision for every person who trusts in Him by faith!

This is good news for us today as well!  We rest in what Jesus Christ has done for us.  We take a sabbath rest every six days!  We can remember the year of rest every seven years and be blessed with God’s grace to provide for us in supernatural ways.  When we think of Jubilee–God’s promise of restoration and provision for his people, we can be happy and celebrate!

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds  to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words. 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18

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