Jesus our Jubilee!
Scripture reading for February 9th: 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 calling it the year of Jubilee! 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 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 seven periods of seven years. After six years, the Israelites were to rest their land for a year. God promised to provide enough for them in the sixth year to carry them through until the harvest of the eighth year. After seven cycles, 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) God again would provide a second year for His people without their effort.
But the Israelites never took the Sabbath years every seventh year and they never did have a Year of Jubilee. They knew about it but failed to do what God asked. When we fail to obey, God always has his way. The Israelites went for seventy 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)
In the New Testament (Luke 4:18-20), Jesus announced His calling and ministry by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2. The proclamation of the “year of the Lord’s favor” was 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 works! Jubilee is a picture of Jesus’ provision for every person who trusts in Him by faith!
Why do you think the Israelites never kept those Sabbath years? As you think about Jesus Christ and the ‘jubilee’ or ‘year of His favor’, what are you looking forward to the most?
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