Jesus, having won a definitive victory over Satan during his time of temptation, now begins a victory tour of Galilee; proclaiming release for those under Satan’s rule.
The quote from Isaiah draws on the imagery of the Jubilee laws from Leviticus with the expression, “The year of the Lord’s favour”. Jesus comes and applies it to Himself with the astonishing words, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing..”
Therefore, the Jubilee sets up the pattern for Jesus entire ministry. Everything that was true about the Jubilee; Sabbath laws, Poverty and Property laws, would be fulfilled in His ministry.
Jesus fulfils the Jubilee Sabbath by taking upon Himself the curse enabling mankind to enter into an new rest. In the original creation, God provided man with food in a garden Man’s task was to take that provision and cultivate the earth, fill it with godly culture through dominion and faithful offspring.
The curse meant than man would now have endless struggle in order to feed his family and justify his existence.
The earth would no longer be a friendly place that yielded easily to man’s labour. By taking the curse over creation onto himself, Jesus has freed mankind to enter an eternal rest, a Kingdom in which the Promised Land becomes the whole earth.
Secondly, the Year of Jubilee was designed to lift people out of poverty.
It meant release from debts that kept families locked in a poverty cycle. Jesus fulfils the poverty laws by paying the price of the debt that enslaved us. He provides the debt release we so desperately from God.
Finally, the Jubilee meant restoration of the land. It was a deliverance from the oppression that robbed the people of their inheritance.
Just as oppressive labour is overcome through the gospel, so to, the gospel restores to man the inheritance which Satan had swiped.
The earth is handed back to Christ who distributes it among the meek.
All life lived outside the Jubilee – outside the gospel – remains futile and oppressive. It means slavishly working in order to justify your existence and gain your inheritance.
To be oppressed by long term debt; working slavishly in order to gain approval; unable to rest and refusing to extent mercy to my neighbour is to live a life lived outside the promises of the gospel.
Our inheritance is not earned, it is given in the Jubilee where every debt but love is cancelled.
Lessons for Little Saints…
How often did God tell Israel to celebrate a Year of Jubilee?
Name three things that the people did in the Year of Jubilee?
What was forbidden in the Year of Jubilee?
How does Jesus fulfil the Year of Jubilee?
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