Our Jubilee In Christ
The most basic premise of the mission of Christ was to bring the joy of salvation to the world. From His first days, it was spoken of Jesus, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). Approaching the day of His death, a similar message: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). His daily mission was described in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of slight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). This seems to be an allusion to the year of Jubilee, as explained in Leviticus 25:8-12. During this time of celebration, debts were cancelled, slaves released from bondage, fields given time for recuperation, and all property was returned to its rightful owner. It symbolized grace and freedom, ultimately found in its highest form in the Lord God Almighty.
An Appreciation of Grace Requires Understanding Our Immense Debt
Unless we come to grips with our own sinfulness, we can never fully understand God’s grace. “I know my transgression, and my sin is ever before me.” (Psalm 51:3) That is what makes the writer of this psalm so admirable. The consequences of his sin are always on his mind and he ponders them and learns from them. He knows his transgressions and how costly they are. And we have to do the same thing. By keeping the consequences of our own sins on the forefront of our minds, it helps us stay ready for the next temptation, whenever it may come! One writer states, “This, too, is characteristic of true penitence. Mock penitents confess their sins and straightway forget them. Real genuine ones find it hard to forget” (The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. VIII).
In the Old Testament, Jubilee was a time for renewal and change. People were set free and given a chance to start fresh, in many physical ways. How much more, then, are we set free from our bonds when we become Christians? We are born again (John 3:5). Whatever sinful habits we picked up, whatever servitude we were under, we were given a chance to break free (Romans 6:11-18). Like the sinful woman of John 8:11, we have the chance to go and sin no more. Be careful, though, that you do not harden your hearts, and stifle the power that godly shame can have in bringing change to your life! “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They were not ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15).