What Was the Year of Jubilee and How Does it Apply to Us as Christians?
In the Old Testament, once every fifty years, the Jewish people would celebrate the year of Jubilee. Leviticus chapter twenty-five lays it out in detail. During the year of jubilee, all debt was forgiven, prisoners were set free, and land that had been repossessed was returned to its' original owner. It has been said that even some of our modern day laws providing for bankruptcy were first formed out of the book of Leviticus.
How does this apply to us as Christians? When comparing Leviticus chapter twenty five with the scriptures in Isaiah chapter sixty one that foretold of Christ the savior one can begin to see that God intended that Jesus would give us Jubilee once and for all.
Isaiah 61:1 says of Jesus, "the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." Further examination of Isaiah chapter sixty-one will render an almost word for word account of what happened during the year of jubilee.
To fully understand the concept, however, one must examine Romans chapter 8. Romans 8:1 proclaims the jubilee of Christ in that "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Therefore, the year of Jubilee was both modeled and prophesied in the Old Testament, and then proclaimed in the New Testament. The year of Jubilee was indeed God's favor found in a personal relationship with Christ Jesus.
For those who would misunderstand and think that we are set free only so that we can again become bondage to sin's deteriorating condition, Isaiah goes on to say, "he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness."
In the movie "The Princess Diaries," Mia Thermopolis is faced with the decision as to whether or not she wants to become a princess and future queen of a small make believe European country. In the story she is transformed from frumpy schoolgirl to magnificent royalty and then she is asked to reveal her decision. She eventually realizes that she cannot revoke who she has become. She indeed has become a true princess. In learning to wear her royal crown she indeed became royalty.
When Jesus sets us free from our bondage, whatever it may be, he clothes us in his royal righteousness. We indeed become next in line for the heavenly throne. We are still free creatures. We could chose at any time, to return to our old self, but who would want to. Once you truly learn to walk in God's favor and forgiveness you begin to desire the things of God. There is still temptation as long as we are in the flesh, but every day that you wear your robe of righteousness you become a little more like God's royalty and a little less like the world. That is indeed Jubilee.