The past couple of weeks we have been working through the book of Leviticus. The first time I read through this book I remember getting bogged down by the monotonous nature of reading about the sacrificial system and different laws, but since that time I have grown to really enjoy reading through Leviticus. Once I started reading through it with the lens of the Gospel, my appreciation for the book grew immensely. When reading though this time chapter 25 peaked my interest, especially with the New Year on my mind. Chapter 25 brings to our attention two practices of the nation of Israel, the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee.
I want to focus our thoughts on the Year of Jubilee for a moment. There is a lot here that can be lost on us. The first thing we must recognize is that Israel is a nation, and this was part of their law. When we look at the year of Jubilee we must also remember that the promise land was divided up among the Tribes of Israel, and then among the families of those tribes. The year of Jubilee then meant that if one had to “sell” their land, in the 50th year the land would return to the family that had sold it. The year of Jubilee was a set year, so when you sold land it would be from that time until the next year of Jubilee. The same also was true if you sold yourself to a fellow Israelite, your freedom would come in the year of Jubilee. It is a pretty neat concept, and I would urge you to go back to Leviticus 25 and read through it again, it is fascinating, and it always provided something to look forward to, one might say a hope to come, relief.
I want us to now bring our thoughts to the Gospel, and compare what Christ did to this year of Jubilee. We have all sinned, in fact as Psalm 51 puts it, we were brought forth in iniquity, and were conceived in sin. We are or at least were all captive and slaves to sins, and utterly hopeless on our own. In a way like one that had to not only sell his land, but also himself due to debt owed, but then one came as a redeemer. In Leviticus 25 we see that one could be redeemed and freed, by someone paying redeem what they owed. For us we have a much great redeemer, one who saves us from our debt from sin, which is death. How grateful must one have been to have been redeemed before the year of Jubilee, so how much more grateful should we be that we have one who redeemed us from death to life!!! Christ payed this debt we owed, and although the year of Jubilee was a joyous time for many, what we have in Christ is so much better. We don’t have to look forward to a year of Jubilee, because we are free now, and in Christ free forever. So let us look at this year, and every year we are in Christ as a year of freedom from sin and death, looking forward to that glorious day when Christ comes back, but don’t forget you are free!