The year of Jubilee caught my attention this week and I would like to share with you some of my thoughts. I realize that there is so much more than what I understand, but what I do know has richly blessed me.
The primary reason for the Year of Jubilee was to prevent oppression in Israel. (Lev. 25:14.17) All hired workers were to be set free. This was unconditional liberty. All bond slaves were released even if the Jubilee Year came before the completion of their six years of service. This also included bond slaves who had earlier declined to go free in the seventh year of their employment. All were set at liberty.
Besides all the bond slaves and slaves to be set free, all the land was returned to its original owners. (Lev. 25:13, 223-28). This law preserved the identity of the tribes and their allotted inheritance of the land. (Num.36:4,7)
From what I have learned, this particular celebration has never taken place in modern Israel. The ancient rabbis generally believed that the Jubilee was no longer in effect after the exile of the northern ten tribes (722 B.C) because the biblical command was to be observed for "all the inhabitants thereof" (Lev. 25:10). They believed that the Jubilee Year applied only when all the Jewish people were in the land, and each tribe in its own territory. They are still waiting for this event to occur ever since they have returned to the land in 1948.
As the Jews look forward to their year of Jubilee, we as believers already celebrate and rejoice in Christ our Jubilee. In the Old Testament (Isaiah 61) and in the New Testament (Luke 4) the Lord says " 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, to proclaim the year of the LORD'S favor (Jubilee)..............." It is beautiful. What Adam lost to Satan, Jesus bought back and restored to God. We are free from all condemnation and the power of sin. Satan no longer has any control over our lives. We have been redeemed, purchased by the blood of Jesus, never again to be under the law of sin and death. The law of life in Jesus Christ has set us free. Jesus is our Jubilee.
"The Feasts of the LORD" by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal for further study.