Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 – Feb. 24 – Jubilee Freedom!

Study from God’s Word Lev. 21: 1-24; Lev. 22: 1-16; Lev. 25: 1-7: Exod. 23: 10-11; Lev. 25: 8-34, 39-43, 47-55 … Passage for Reflection: Leviticus 25: 10 … NIV Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.

My Journal for Today: Today in my study of many of the rules and practices given to the ancient Jewish Priesthood for the establishment of God’s rule on earth to His people, there was the establishment of the year of Jubilee, a festival which was to be celebrated every 50 years amongst the Hebrew people; and like many things in the establishment of God’s way of living in ancient Israel, Jubilee was a picture of something special to come; and that was also found in and connected to the feast of Pentecost, which was to take place 50 days after each Passover. So, after 50 years of celebrating Pentecost there would be for the Jewish people a special year of Jubilee in which debts were forgiven, land was returned to the original owners, and slaves were freed. And God’s people celebrated that freedom could only come and be granted through and because of their observance of God’s laws.

And the picture God was providing in Jubilee was of THE DAY of Pentecost, which finally came when the Spirit of the Lord descended on those who had repented of their sins after Jesus was crucified (i.e., those we consider the original “Church”); and then, the fulfillment of the spiritual picture of Jubilee took place. As F. LaGard Smith so aptly points out in his devotional, the people after Jesus ascension into Heaven, becoming “THE Church.” And as we know from Acts 2, Peter, was preaching the message of deliverance to God’s people, and the people asked “What must we do?,” seeing their guilt for Christ’s crucifixion. And to this Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized … for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” And we know that God’s Spirit, in what must have been a glorious Jubilee in Heaven, descended on the early church and for any who would be a part of God’s Church from thence forth.

As Dr. Smith points out, ”Like Jubilee’s turning back of property, REPENTANCE is a turning back of one’s life. Like Jubilee’s redemption, FORGIVENESS is the discharge of debt for sin. And just as with Jubilee’s freedom for those enslaved, the GIFT OF THE SPIRIT accompanies freedom from spiritual bondage.” And when a believer comes to repent of his/her sinfulness and receives the saving Grace offered by Christ’s atoning blood sacrifice, it is no wonder that there is a Jubilee celebration in heaven by God’s angels, who celebrate that all that Christ came to earth to accomplish (you can read about that in Luke 4: 18-19 - linked here) becomes worthy of celebration in heaven as a life is set free from the bondage of sin and ultimately remade into the image of Christ, The Lord and Savior.

To close his devotional entry for today, Dr. Smith asks, ”Have I (or ‘have you’) prepared the way for my [or ‘our’] own jubilee by doing what the celebrants on Pentecost did?” And only you or I can answer that one for ourselves. But if we’ve acknowledged our sinfulness before God’s throne of grace; and if we’ve declared with our mouth [to another Christian as well as to God] that Jesus is your LORD and Savior [see Rom. 10: 9-13 - linked ] the angels in heaven have celebrated our Jubilee of deliverance; and we have been invested with the presence and power of God’s Spirit to provide us, as truly repentant souls, deliverance and freedom in Christ.

And to that, we, who have had our own Pentecost, must all celebrate and say, “HALLELUJAH!!!”

My Prayer for Today:
Lord, I pray that all who read here have felt the deliverance that Your freedom from sin can offer in our Jubilee of coming to know You as Lord and Savior. Amen

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