Skip to main content

So, What is Jubilee Anyway?

What is Jubilee? The Queen's 50th reigning anniversary? A Marvel female superhero? A political movement to forgive Greek debt? Yes. But where did the idea come from?

Jubilee was a year-long party you spent a lifetime looking forward to. It occurred only once every fifty years. During Jubilee, all debts were cancelled, all slaves were set free and all property reverted back to its original owners in all the land of Israel. Everything sad came untrue. No hard labour was to be done. People were to eat food from reserves and what grew by itself from the ground.  It was a year of paradise commanded by God that was to be a picture of what life will be like in the age to come.

Sadly, history indicates that the Israelis never kept this observance. Even when they had a high degree of spiritual fitness, they never obeyed this particular command.

‘Why not?! A year-long party should be a command that’s easy to obey!’

We can speculate. They didn’t trust God to take care of them; they didn’t see it as being practical; those who were rich didn’t want to let their slaves and property go. Whatever the reason, God judged them for their refusal to party – along with other sins – and allowed the Babylonians to destroy and pillage their capital in the 5th Century BC.

Later, when Jesus launched his public ministry, he did so by reading from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 61. Written 700 years earlier, it reads,

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour

 In short, Jesus said that he was the year of Jubilee. In him, the prophetic observance of Jubilee had its fulfilment. The people hearing him thought he had gone insane. Imagine someone in your neighbourhood claiming to be Christmas. They tried to kill him for blaspheme. After all, only God can say such things about himself. (And on that point, they were right.)

But Jesus lived up to his self-proclamation. He healed the sick, befriended the poor and set people free from the oppression of spiritual and mental bondages. Wherever he went, Jubilee broke out. One day –when Jesus returns to Earth – the whole world will know perfect Jubilee. Until then - when we come to Jesus- his Kingdom breaks through into our lives in bits and pieces. The Holy Spirit turns us from the oppression of sin to the jubilation of forgiveness.

If you don’t know this jubilee, let me point you to Jesus. Without him, we are slaves to our own sin. Don’t think you’re a slave? Ok, try to stop sinning. When you’ve failed for the 10,000th time, you may reconsider.

Give Jesus your sin and life. This life is short and often disappointing. He invites you to his kingdom of eternal jubilation. Call on him in truth – he is faithful. Always.


If you liked this post, please share,

... or you may like to grab a free copy of the chapter 'Forbidden Friendships' from my book

Get a FREE copy of the chapter 'Forbidden Friendships' from my book

* indicates required

If you liked this post, please consider sharing it...


Popular posts from this blog

Where I Turn Down a Gay 'Wedding' Invitation

Dear Katie,
I hope this letter finds you well. You’ve been on my mind lately as it’s been a few weeks since we’ve met up. We’re overdue to grab a coffee – I hope we can soon. I also want to thank you for thinking of me as you sent out invitations for what I know will be a big day for you and Joanna. I’ve known you since before you met her (two years ago now, is it?) and I appreciate all you’ve shared with me about how meaningful that relationship is to you. It was especially kind of you given my Christian faith. You've never directly asked me my views on gender or sex in much detail. But I think our conversations must have touched on it enough times to at least make you a bit unsure of my reaction when you sent the invitation. I have to say 'no' to your kind invitation. You know that I care for you and that I value our friendship. You know I don't reject you because you are gay. So, would it be too much to ask of you if I explain why my faith would make attendance at your…

Dear Pro-Gay Christian Friend

[Response to the letter Dear Non-Affirming Christian]
Dear Pro-Gay Christian Friend,
Thank you for taking the time to write me. Sadly, it seems you misunderstand why I met with you for coffee. Please let me explain my motives by defining the words in my salutation above. Would this be too terrible a way to go about it?
Let’s start with ‘friend’ shall we? You rightly question this term as an accurate description of our relationship. For now, let's simply say I mean it as an expression of good will - but will return to it again at the end of the letter. Then there's this term, 'pro-gay'. By this, I don't mean your personal sexual urges. There have historically been – and are today – countless godly leaders in the church who have deep sexual and romantic attractions to people of the same gender. In spite of their desires, they remain celibate and teach orthodox views of gender and sexuality. In your letter, you repeatedly refer to me as a ‘non-affirming Christian’, but I …

Holy Halloween?

The big ugly debate is upon us.
No, not the Presidential one. This debate involves dwarves and banshees of quite another variety.
As heated as the political scene may now be, it will pale to fervor with which Christians will begin debating if and how they will celebrate what is now commonly called "Halloween". This battle of ideas will be waged from the beaches of church pews to the hills of Facebook. There will be shots fired and people unfriended.
But what cyber surfing culture warrior would be complete without some historical trivia and theological sanity? Here you go...

The Background Story
The devil would love to steal All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) away from Christians. He is making good progress at it too.
All Hallow’s Eve is neither American nor pagan in heritage. The name should be obvious enough. Hallow means ‘holy’ (‘Hallowed be thy name’) and it marks a three-day celebration of the victory of Jesus over the powers of darkness as experienced by departed saints and Christi…