Jesus, Our Jubilee, by Deaconess Caroline Ndlovu
I hope we are all aware that God is still speaking today. God has told us certain fundamental truths in his word. One is that we will HE will never leave us nor forsake (Hebrews 13:5). We sing songs to testify of this. Another advocate who will never leave you is the Holy Spirit (John 14:10).
When I say that God is still speaking today, I am referring to the monthly themes that God gives us through the shepherd of the house. This year has been themed a year of unimaginable progress. In the book of Ephesians, we know that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can think or even imagine. But that is qualified further by the statement: according to the power that is at work in you (us).
God can use prophecies to deliver these messages to us. On the other hand, God has told us that he leads his children by the inward witness. He does not say that He will send angels to give you every direction, every day. Angels are, however, there on assignment to protect us- as stated in Psalms 91. We know they step in at particularly significant and important instances to deliver messages.
God can also make provision for His children by giving them specific instructions to observe certain seasons and events. We can see this type of instruction in Leviticus 25:1-13. In verse 10, God instructed the children of Israel to observe the year of Jubilee. Looking closer at the given instruction reveals the depth of its importance. The year of Jubilee was to be celebrated on the 50th year (after 7 lots of 7 years). God uses 7s as the number of perfection. In Leviticus 25:8 we see reference to 7 sabbath years and in the book of Revelation: seven churches (1:4), seven spirits (3:1), seven golden lampstands (1:12-13), seven stars (1:16), seven seals (5:1), seven horns (5:6), seven angels (5:2), seven trumpets (8:6) and seven plagues (15:1). There are no coincidences with God, so the insistence of observing the year of Jubilee (that comes after 7 lots of 7 years) shows its significance.
However important this year was for the children of Israel, they still soon forgot about the instruction altogether.
The year stayed unrecognized until a young man of 30 years stood up to read from the book of Isiah (chapter 61) to proclaim the year of liberty to captives and the opening of the prison to them that are in bondage. He also proclaimed recovery of sight to the blind. In this way, Jesus began his ministry in the year of Jubilee and His first act of ministry was to remind the children of Israel of the power and significance of the instruction they were given. Ultimately, He was also proclaiming that He is our Jubilee.
Once again, the children of Israel did not remember to celebrate the year of Jubilee. During this period of 2000 years (70 AD to 1917), Jerusalem was under the feet of Gentiles. In 1917, General Allenby, a British army commander walked into Jerusalem with his horse beside him. He made a call for all the European based Jewish population to come back, but most of them did not head the call. In hindsight, this was a provision of protection that God was making to grant His chosen people an escape from impending danger (the Holocaust). God’s intention was to deliver them in a timely manner- before they even knew they would need deliverance.
By 1967, notably another Jubilee year, Israel was surrounded on all sides by their enemies. They were outnumbered to a ratio of 1-100 for their army artillery. Yet after 6 days, they won the war and for the first time in 2000 years, they took east Jerusalem where the temple mount is located. Again, an extraordinary provision was made.
Finally, now we enter 2017, another Jubilee year. We have recently heard an announcement that an otherwise unpopular politician has declared Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel- a move that scholars are saying is the fulfilment of an end time prophecy.
From these examples, we can see that God’s favour abounds in the year of Jubilee. This is not to say that there will not be any trouble. At times when you are hemmed in on all sides, that is when God shows up with his timely delivery. The victory of the six-day war has no parallel in war history apart from the war on Jericho when the walls of Jericho fell down. The children of Israel marched around the city of Jericho, for 6 days, and on the seventh day, God gave them victory (Joshua 6:1-5).
Maybe some of you are hemmed in by sickness or by family situations but God has provided you with a provision. He has provided you with a timely delivery.
What are the keys to having Jesus as your Jubilee?
1. Rest. When you quiet yourself in the spiritual sense, you allow God to do a timely delivery. He said “be anxious for nothing but in prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to Me…” and through this, we will gain “the peace of God that passes all understanding”. Have faith in God. Faith is an important ingredient in our walk with God. Jesus commended 2 people as having great faith- the centurion and the Syrophoenician women. These two people had one thing in common, they both kept their eyes on Jesus and believed with all their being that He was able to deliver them. This kind of faith is vital if a believer is to master rest. To rest in His promises is to trust that He is able and he is willing to move in your situation.
2. Proclamation of the Lord’s death. As we saw in the account of Jericho, the blowing of the Ram’s horn is significant in experiencing Jubilee. The Ram’s horn signifies the proclamation of the Lord’s death which is also the preaching of the Gospel. Listening to messages that remind you of the finished work of Christ reinforce this gospel. Galatians 3 speaks of this and uses a continuous tense to show that the hearing of this word must be continuous.
3. Flow with the Spirit. The word Jubilee comes from the Greek word Jubal or Youvel which refers to the playing of music. But the root of this Greek word means “to flow”. When we flow with the Spirit of God we will not be led astray. The Spirit can lead through a variety of ways and one of them is through the word. By falling in love with the reading of the word we allow God’s peace to envelope us and the Spirit to minister to us. The Holy Spirit will continually reveal the reality of Jesus as our Jubilee and remind to look to Him always for our timely delivery.
The sermon, Jesus Our Jubilee, by Deaconess Caroline Ndlovu was delivered on December 17, 2017.