You read your Bibles, you know the truth and you know we are a jubilant people of hope. We have something no other faith has, no other faith understands and no other faith proclaims. WHY? Because they do not have a personal relationship with the Eternal Father, His Only Begotten Son and The Holy Spirit.
Our Triune God made us for relationship – relationship with God, and even though we have torn apart that relationship by entering into sin, Our God still calls us back.
“The blood of Jesus was paid to set us free (1 Peter 1:18). Christ set His people free from the power of sin by His vicarious, substitutionary death for our sins.
“Oh, can it be, upon a tree
The Saviour died for me?
My soul is thrilled,
My heart is filled,
To think He died for me!”
In The Ancient Days – think Old Testament times, the Priestly Class – The Levites, put into practice a code which became known as the Year of Jubilee. In simple terms:
Leviticus 25 describes the fiftieth, or Jubilee, year. “Jubilee” means “liberty.” The Jubilee year is proclaimed with the sound of a trumpet on the Day of Atonement, so that all know the holy year has begun. God owns the land, and in the Jubilee, He wants the return of every man to his possession. Men, who have worked as a servant to pay off their debt, must be freed and allowed to return to their own land and to their families.
Come forward now – several thousand (or more) years into what we now call New Testament times and reflect on what Luke writes in Ch. 4: 16-21, it is rather profound.
The Saviour began His ministry by preaching
a “Jubilee” message: (NIV)
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
The Meaning of the word JUBILEE
The word “jubilee” is derived from the Hebrew word jobel, which means “ram’s horn”; since it was precisely that horn which was used as a trumpet, whose sound indicated to everybody the beginning of the jubilee year. The book of Leviticus, in the code of holiness, is the source which tells us of the significance of the jubilee year, a year of liberation “par excellence.”
Jesus ushered in our new life, our future of liberation – Par Excellence, freeing us from the oppression and ravages of sin, opening the way to full and total reconciliation with God. This was something no human could have done. We had been limited to having holy men, Rabbi’s, Ministers, and Priests performing sacrificial acts on our behalf. But that all changed forever when the ‘veil was torn’.
Above all, the tearing of the veil at the moment of Jesus’ death dramatically symbolized that His sacrifice, the shedding of His own blood, was a sufficient atonement for sins.
It signified that now the way into the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time, both Jew and Gentile. We no longer need Minister’s of any denomination to stand in the gap for us, because Jesus has already done everything that was necessary – and He did say IT IS FINISHED!
To think He died for me!
To reflect on the wonderful truth of Christ’s death, as it’s presented in the Bible, brings great wonder, amazement, and tears to our eyes. It should stir our hearts anew as Christians, revitalize our efforts of evangelism, and bring sinners to faith in Christ who sense their lost estate and need for salvation from hell. To think He died for me!
I have tremendous difficulty getting my head around the concept that someone would offer to die in my place. Understanding that I am a sinner, and still sin each and every day in some way (even though unintentionally), so you could call that ‘compounded sin’, and still Jesus chose to accept death on my behalf so that I, a miserable weak sinner could spend eternity with God. Now try to think of the number of people who have walked this planet since the Creation, and who are yet to be born, all of whom are sinners, all of whom are separated – or would be separated from the love of God, if it were not for Jesus’ saving death – and it is a number too huge to annunciate. I cannot understand this in my head – yet my heart knows it to be true!
In Romans 3:23 Paul writes “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”, yet somewhere along my journey in Christ, I have heard it said that if there had only been one or two sinners, Jesus would still have offered himself as a sacrifice on our behalf.
God says, “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.” Isaiah 43:4, RSV. “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3
God’s love never stops. God’s love is much more than you can fully understand. If you were the only person in the whole universe, Jesus would have died for you. Do not forget that fact. YOU ARE PRECIOUS IN GOD’S SIGHT. GOD LOVES YOU.
We need to find a way of celebrating our liberation from sin – what it is that separated us from relationship with Our Holy God. We need to find a way to celebrate our life in Jesus. The journey won’t be an easy one, but there are many on the same path as you and I, and as we have been liberated from the eternal and everlasting death caused by sin, we have much to celebrate.
Let’s listen for that final trumpet, and may it be soon.
Come Lord Jesus. AMEN.
CELEBRATE! With Paul Wilbur