Leviticus 25:13: In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property.
Jesus Christ at the onset of his ministry read a portion of the book of Isaiah publicly saying: the Spirit of the Lord is upon him to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (which is the year of Jubilee) (Luke 4:17-19).
But the one he proclaims is a spiritual event, contrary to the physical one that was under the Old Testament.
The Jubilee years happened every 50 years in biblical Israel, there is rest for the land (no cultivation), all debts are forgiven, lands restored to original owners/tribes, and all Jew slaves are automatically freed. Jews who, through poverty, had been obliged to hire themselves out as servants were released from bondage (Leviticus 25).
But the Jubilee that Jesus came to proclaim is not time bound. The Jubilee is in Him.
The Jubilee year was at the end of seven consecutive Sabbaths years (a Sabbath year is the seventh year). Jubilee was every 50 years, the superlative Sabbath year; the ultimate symbol of freedom, rest and restoration.
Jesus declared that He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5). And since the Sabbath means rest, Jesus is the lord of rest. He declared that all should come to him for rest.
Jubilee is the time of restoration. But this restoration does not have as his reference point the tribe by tribe, family by family distribution of land for the children of Israel. As the second Adam Jesus’ restorative work goes back to the Garden of Eden. He is to reset humanity back to how things were in the Garden of Eden. He is sent to humanity to bring us back to the same realm of existence that we were in before the fall.
Since what caused the denigration of the human state was sin, Jesus’ core mandate is to deal with the issue of sin, take it away as a stumbling block for humanity (Matthew 1:21). That was why he had to live a sinless life, so that through faith in him, we can become like he is, having our heart of stone (hardened against God) replaced with heart of flesh (responsive to God) (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26), so we can walk with God in holiness (1Thessalonians 3:13).
He also had the mandate to bear the judgment of death on humanity (John 1:29), so that once again we can be in God’s good book. That was why he died on the cross. He took on our death-judgment so that we can take on His life (2Peter 1:3).
Through Jesus, we now have the Spirit of life as our portion (Romans 8:1-3). He released the Holy Spirit to be in us (Romans 8:9), recreating us as new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17). We as Christians now exist on a new plane of spiritual existence, enabled and energized by the Holy Spirit from Christ.
In Jubilee the slaves are let go. They become free. Paul said that it is for freedom that Christ set us free, so we should no longer be in the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). Think of whatever can get people into bondage, is it poverty, sinful habits, demons etc; Christ obtained favour for us from them all, so that we can become free from them, so that we can become sons of God.
The bible says that the whole of creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God; they wait to experience the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Romans 8:18-22). This is the liberty to become all God has designed us to be. God is designing it that saviours will come forth from Zion (Church). They are restored to their full functioning dominion mandate that was invested in Adam, but which he lost it in the Garden of Eden due to sin, and have the restoration mandate.
The door is now opened for anyone who is in bondage to sin to be free when they embrace Christ. Paul wrote a letter to Philemon concerning a slave of his, which Paul preached to and he became a Christian (Philemon 1).
The life of that slave (Onesimus) presents a contrast. He was a bond slave in the natural, but he wanted to be free. After he ran away, he was still a slave spiritually. He was still a candidate of bondage to sin and death. Changing his physical location did not change his spiritual reality. But when he encountered Paul, his spiritually reality was changed and he was asked by Paul to maintain the status quo ante. He was asked to go back to his master and become a slave again.
He was asked to be a slave by natural circumstances but now free spiritually. He entered into the freedom of having a relationship with God though by his natural circumstances he was a slave. That reflects the importance and meaning of the Jubilee that Jesus brings as real freedom to people on earth.
At the birth of Jesus, angels could not contain themselves. They said: peace on earth, good will toward men (Luke 2:14). His coming was an open invitation for all people in all places to come to a relationship with God, come into union with Him. That is joyous indeed.
We are free to have a relationship with God. Free to be all that God wants us to be in glory, power, grace and passion, knowledge. Through the new birth we are made spiritual beings, equipped with spiritual functioning.
With the fall of man, there was a cutting off of man’s spiritual functioning. Man was hitherto equipped to function spiritually by the breath of God. That was the immediate death that marked the promised judgment of death.
That did not translate to immediate cessation of life or existence. Man did not drop dead. But the working of death manifests in sicknesses, lack and disruption in relationships.
Jubilee from sickness
Through Jesus, through his sacrifice, sickness was given a death blow in the life of the people. Peter wrote: by whose stripes we were healed (1Peter 2:24). Some may claim that that is spiritual healing, but I have learned to apply a rule of no-limit-to-God in the interpretation of truth.
Any seeming truth that seeks to limit what God can do is false. When God told Moses that the children of Israel will eat meat for one whole month in the wilderness Moses did not believe Him (Numbers 11). Then God said: “is there anything too add for me to do? Is my hand waxed short?”
Any understanding that seems to put a limit to what is possible with God is suspect, and it is anti-faith. Because faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), therefore the walk faith will not be possible when the word of truth is not fully preached, when God is not accurately presented in all his power and ability. When morality is preached and divine healing/health is shoved aside, we are saying that the freedom that Christ brings is merely freedom from sin, that it does not include freedom from sickness. That is putting a limit on the restoration force of God.
Jubilee from lack
The bible says: the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, ye I have a goodly heritage (Proverbs 16:6). My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). God is able to make all grace abound towards you so that in all things and at all times, we would abound in every good thing (2Corinthians 9:8). Jesus taught us to pray: give us this day my daily bread. David wrote: The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want (Psalm 23).
Jubilee from disrupted relationship
The number one relationship that was disrupted with the fall of man was man’s relationship with God. In Christ now by one spirit we have access to the father (Ephesians 2:18).
- Thoughts in My Head: “Remember the Sabbath” (mordenmennonitechurch.wordpress.com)
- Leviticus 25 – Jubilee & the Sabbath Year (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
- Jesus is our Sabbath Rest (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
- Homesick (ckeepers.wordpress.com)