“If the exodus was God’s idea of redemption, the jubilee was God’s idea of restoration.”
—Christopher J. H. Wright. (Italics in original).
At some point in every Christian’s life they must surely ask themselves, ‘Am I really doing all of what God requires of me?’—I know I certainly have; many times. We find out when we’ve done our history reading, digging deep into the theology of our faith, that as the redeemed we have a responsibility—a command is placed upon our lives.
Jubilee, Our Role and More...
“In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him of whom it was bought, to him to whom the land belonged [as his ancestral inheritance].”
—Leviticus 27:24 (Amplified version).
Justice is balance; justice is righting not simply wrongs but all imbalances. Jubilee is justice and balance; a returning to things as they were or are justly designed to be. The concept of jubilee is inherent in the character of God.
Getting back to the initial paragraph... there’s so much more to our faith than a simple works righteousness that a focus on ‘our responsibility’ indicates. Our faith’s an eternal construct implicit in justice for all, equally—that’s God’s ideal. It’s never ever been anything different.
This is why the principle of “jubilee” is so transcendent over the commonplace world.
The Lord our God delivers us in exoduses every day and we experience his jubilee of his grace every moment, yet there is a role also for us in these redemptive and restorative endeavours in our interactions of post-salvation reality.
God’s other-worldly reality enshrined in the concept of jubilee is manifested, of course, in Jesus.
The jubilee in our present day context, as always, means the true owner of a thing is honoured with true ownership (and freedom) over that thing; be it a parcel of land, or a physical organism known as ‘the body.’
Jesus, we know, came to issue the great jubilee; the New Covenant. He proclaimed his anointing and arrival thus:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
“to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
—Luke 4:18-19 (TNIV).
In Jesus’ name, freedom has been set forth for the (spiritual) captives ever since, and certainly since his death on the cross—the actual transaction of the New Covenant.
Let’s explore for one final moment this cascading process from that place of exodus i.e. enjoying the fruit of physical freedom, to that place of jubilee i.e. enjoying the fruit of holistic freedom, including importantly, spiritual freedom.
Our Specific Role as Beneficiaries of the Exodus and Jubilee (Spiritual Salvation)
Our role is simply to advance these freedoms and justices to all others in our midst—without partiality—in the holy name of Christ Jesus.
The blessing for our obedience:
“I [the LORD] will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear.”
—Leviticus 26:6 (NLT)
The ultimate jubilee, as we all know, is still yet to occur. Hasten the day. Maranatha: come, Lord Jesus, come.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.
Further Recommended Reading: Samuel E. Balentine, Leviticus – Interpretation Commentary (Louisville, Kentucky: John Knox Press, 1999), p. 193f.
 Christopher J.H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 2006), p. 290.