The Messiah’s Jubilee

At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world; it is also a celebration of the Messiah’s Jubilee, Jesus coming into our hearts as our redeemer, Lord and Saviour.

In the Bible the Jewish Jubilee took place every 50 years, under the Law of Moses. It commenced on the Day of Atonement. The fields were left fallow, and the people were to eat from last year’s harvest. Hired servants who had been working off their debt, had their debt cancelled. Inheritances were restored, the land returned to the original owners, and slaves set free.[1] God’s justice and generosity demonstrated under law was a shadow of what was to come in with the Messiah’s Jubilee.

The Messiah’s Jubilee was referred to as the “Year of Liberty”[2] or “The Year of Redemption”[3] or “The year of the Lord’s favour.”[4] Jesus, at the beginning of his ministry, went into the synagogue at Nazareth where he read from the book of Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’s favour.”[5]

During his ministry Jesus was setting people free from all kinds of bondage and bringing them into the glorious liberty of Jubilee.  Jesus’ parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, were about restoration and celebration. “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”[6] And in the parable of the lost coin: “Rejoice with me, for I have found my coin which was lost.” [7] The parable of the (prodigal) lost son: “Bring the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet and bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let us be merry, for this my son was dead, and is alive again, he was lost and is found, and they began to make merry.” [8]

The Messiah’s Jubilee is also a celebration of Jesus coming into our hearts as our Lord and Saviour.

We celebrate with those across the world who share our faith in Jesus. They, like us, have entered the Messiah’s Jubilee. Having been released, set free from all that used to enslave us. Our debt of sin has been paid for by Jesus on the cross, and we have entered the freedom of God’s forgiveness. We are joint heirs with Christ, sharing Jesus’ complete work of salvation and entering into the ‘Rest of God.”   

[1] Leviticus 25: 39

[2] Ezekiel 46: 17

[3] Isaiah 63:  4

[4] Luke 4: 18, 19

[5] Luke 4: 18, 19. Isaiah 61: 1, 2

[6] Luke 15: 4

[7] Luke 15:  9

[8] Luke 15: 24

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