Sermon #591 Leviticus Sermons
Title: The Year of Jubilee
Text: Leviticus 25:1-55
Subject: Liberty—The Message of the Gospel
In the Old Testament everything seems to have revolved around the sabbath. At the end of creation, the Lord God rested on the seventh day, the sabbath. In the giving of the law, the Lord commanded Israel to keep the sabbath day holy. But, did you ever notice how many sabbath days the Lord required the children of Israel to keep? He required them to keep…
· A seventh day sabbath,
· A seventh week (50th day) sabbath,
· A seventh year sabbath,
· And a fiftieth year sabbath.
This fiftieth year sabbath is discussed in great detail in Leviticus 25. This fifty year sabbath was a sabbath year long sabbath called “the year of jubilee.” That will be my subject. But this 25th chapter of Leviticus and the year of jubilee have both gotten bigger and bigger every time I have read this chapter and studied this subject in the last few weeks. I have no hope of expounding this text or this subject today. I want us to read a few verses from Leviticus 25. Then, I will simply draw your attention to seven things involved in this year of jubilee and show you how this sabbatical year, which the Lord God required the nation of Israel to observe every fifty years, was typical and prophetic of our Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of God’s free grace in him.
(Leviticus 25:1-4) "And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. (3) Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; (4) But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard."
(Leviticus 25:8-14) "And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. (9) Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. (10) And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. (11) A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. (12) For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. (13) In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. (14) And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another."
(Leviticus 25:17-18) "Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God. (18) Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety."
The year of jubilee was a season appointed by God during which the children of Israel were required to adjust their social affairs once every fifty years, setting their brethren free from bondage and free from all debt, and restoring lost possessions, lost property, lost inheritances to those who had lost them
Proposition: The year of jubilee portrayed and typified the great work of our Lord Jesus Christ in restoring chosen sinners to God and to one another, and bringing us at last into that great sabbath of eternal rest in “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.”
To many throughout the land the year of jubilee was “the accepted time” and “the day of salvation.”
The year of jubilee was announced by the blowing of a trumpet throughout all the land. That is, of course, a representation of gospel preaching (Isa. 27:13; Ps. 89:15.
(Isaiah 27:13) "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."
(Psalms 89:15) "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance."
Pause, O my soul, adore and wonder. Rejoice and give thanks. Blessed are these ears that have been made to hear the joyful sound of God’s free grace, of God’s great, free, everlasting salvation in Christ!
There were four distinct and special sounds of the trumpet in the camp of Israel. Each one distinctly portrayed the preaching of the gospel.
· Memorial trumpets were sounded to announce the new moon and call the people together in a joyful assembly of worship (Lev. 23:24; Ps. 81:3).
(Psalms 81:3) "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day."
· Battle trumpets, trumpets of war (Judges 3:27) were sounded to gather the people to battle (1 Cor. 14:8).
· Trumpets of alarm warning men of impending judgment and calling them to repentance (Joel 2:1).
· And the jubilee trumpet spoken of here in Leviticus 25.
The jubilee trumpet was different from the others. This trumpet’s sound was never heard except once every fifty years. Yet, its sound was so sweet and so distinct that no poor captive in the land of Israel was at a moment's loss to know its music and its gracious meaning.
That is just exactly the way it is when God the Holy Spirit causes a poor, needy, captive sinner to hear the gospel, when he proclaims pardon to the guilty, pardon by the blood of Christ, he causes the sinner to understand that atonement has been made and accepted. At that very moment, jubilee commences. The soul long held captive to sin, to Satan, and to the law, is set free and walks (dances!) in liberty.
What a joyful sound! What a joyful day! When the gospel jubilee trumpet first sounded in my soul, the acceptable year of the Lord began (Isa. 61:1-2; 63:4).
(Isaiah 61:1-2) "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;"
(Isaiah 63:4) "For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come."
Oh for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise!
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
He breaks the power of cancelled sin
And sets the prisoners free!
His blood can make the foulest clean—
His blood availed for me!
I. Atonement—The first thing I want you to see is that the year of jubilee began on the day of atonement (v. 9).
(Leviticus 25:9) "Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land."
This is where the preaching of the gospel begins. The gospel has not been preached until atonement has been proclaimed! There can be no joyful sound apart from the sin-atoning blood of Christ. The jubilee trumpet declared atonement blood shed, atonement blood accepted, atonement finished! The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was delivered unto death under the wrath of God because our sins imputed to him. He was raised again the third day because our justification was accomplished, because our sins were forever put away!
· The trumpet was blown by a man.
· The trumpet proclaimed the year of jubilee.
· The trumpet was blown throughout the land.
II. Liberty—The year of jubilee began on the day of atonement, and it began with the proclamation of liberty, liberty according to the very demands of God’s holy law (v. 10).
(Leviticus 25:10) "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family."
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us plainly that he is the Liberator and the One who proclaims liberty (Luke 4:17-21).
(Luke 4:17-21) "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, (18) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (20) And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. (21) And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Be sure you do not miss this—The liberty proclaimed in the year of jubilee, the liberty proclaimed in the gospel is the blessed liberty of grace, but it is liberty demanded by God’s holy law. Unlike the ceremonies we have seen in previous chapters, this law concerning the year of jubilee was given at Sinai, at the very time God gave the law to Moses (v. 1).
(Leviticus 25:1-2) "And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD."
The ceremonial requirements we have seen in the preceding chapters were given at the door of the tabernacle.
The law of God, being totally satisfied by the blood of our Substitute, demands the liberty of every redeemed sinner. Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 5:20-21).
(Romans 5:20-21) "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
· Judicial Liberty!
· Spiritual Liberty!
· Glorious Liberty!
III. Forgiveness—The year of jubilee was a time of forgiveness (v. 35).
(Leviticus 25:35) "And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee."
The poor wretch who had lost everything, who had incurred such a tremendous load of debt that he sold his land, then his house, and at last sold himself into bondage, when the jubilee trumpet sounded was released from bondage and released from debt, forgiven completely, freely, and forever. His debt did not bar him from the joy of jubilee. His debt qualified him as the one for whom the trumpet sounded.
Hear me, now—I am sent to preach the gospel, to blow the jubilee trumpet, to the poor.
“Not the righteous, not the righteous,
Sinners Jesus came to call!”
His blood has cancelled my debt! I am entirely, forever forgiven! That’s liberty, my friend. That’s liberty!
IV.Rest—The year of jubilee was a year of rest (v. 5).
(Leviticus 25:3-5) "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; (4) But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (5) That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land."
The gospel of Christ is a proclamation of rest, calling weary sinners to rest, promising eternal rest (Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:1-11; Ps. 116:7).
(Psalms 116:7) "Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."
Illustration: How their Gentile neighbors must have mocked and derided the Jews during the year of jubilee. They thought they were a bunch of lazy sluggards. They had no idea what they were doing. But what they were doing was worshipping!—Depending on God alone for everything!—Resting!
(Galatians 5:1-4) "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
V. Bounty—The year of jubilee was a year of great, unparalleled bounty (v. 19).
(Leviticus 25:19) "And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety."
Oh, what a gospel this is! In Christ we are made to dwell in complete safety in a land of infinite bounty. Here we lie down in green pastures and fear no evil! Our treasury is the unsearchable riches of Christ! “All things are yours, for ye are Christ’s!” We who have been brought by the grace of God into the liberty of the gospel have been brought into his fulness! Let us therefore be careful for nothing, but in all things give thanks!
VI.Restoration—In the year of jubilee every man who had lost his inheritance had it returned to him in total, free and clear, with no mortgage of any kind, no lien of any kind against it (v. 13).
(Leviticus 25:13) "In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession."
All that we lost in Adam, Christ has restored. All that we lost by our own willful rebellion and sin, Christ has restored.
Illustration: Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9)
David understood this. He sang, “He restoreth my soul!” We who “were by nature children of wrath, even as others,” are now made to be “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ!”
VII. Brotherly Love—In the year of jubilee the children of Israel were required by law to love their brethren (v. 17).
(Leviticus 25:17) "Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God."
In the gospel jubilee saved sinners are constrained and taught by grace to love one another. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
(Ephesians 4:32) "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
(Ephesians 5:1-2) "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
· Have I been loved freely? Let me love freely.
· Have I been forgiven freely? Let me forgive freely.
We read in Matthew 18 of a forgiven servant who took his fellow servant by the throat and demanded payment on the spot. He was obviously bold enough to deal with the man face to face; but he was utterly destitute of the grace, compassion, and forgiveness he had experienced from his master.
· Have I received freely? Let me give freely.
Application: Now, let me tell you about another jubilee trumpet we will soon hear (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 11:15-19).
(1 Corinthians 15:51-52) "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
(Revelation 11:15-19) "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (16) And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, (17) Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (18) And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (19) And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."
Once that trumpet blows and our eternal jubilee has commenced, we shall forever enjoy…
· Atonement to its fullest!
· Liberty beyond measure!
· Forgiveness in its greatest magnificence!
· Rest in perfection!
· Bounty beyond imagination!
· Restoration such as eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and the heart of man has never conceived!
· Brotherly love in unfailing perfection!
Have you heard this joyful sound? Has the Son of God made you free? Has the Lord Jesus caused you to return to your long-lost, long ago forfeited inheritance? Let us never forget the unspeakable mercy! Hail, thou Almighty Deliverer, blessed Redeemer of your captives! I had sold my possession, sold myself for nothing; and you have redeemed it for me again without money. I had sold it, but could not destroy it, because the right of redemption was with my Kinsman Redeemer.
Yes, blessed Son of God, your brethren shall praise thee. You are the next of kin, the nearest of all relations, and the dearest of all brothers. And you have redeemed both soul and body, both lands and inheritance by your blood. You, O blessed Christ, have so completely redeemed all that it can never be lost again, never forfeited!
Let the jubilee trumpet sound and be heard through all the land this day! Give liberty to the captive and sight to the blind. Bring forth the prisoners out of the prison, and them that sit in darkness into your great light.
Oh, cause us to know the joyful sound, and daily to walk in the light of your countenance. Cause us, by the sweet influences of your Holy Spirit, to live in the constant expectation of the year of the everlasting jubilee, when the trumpet of the archangel shall finally sound, and all the redeemed shall then return to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads. Oh, blessed, blessed hope! Then we shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Hallelujah!
1 Date: Danville (AM 03/ 23/03)
Lincoln Wood Baptist Church, Houston, TX (Sunday AM - 03/30/03)
First Baptist Church, Jacumba, CA (Friday PM – 05/02/03)
Bethel Baptist Church, Spring Lake, NC (Saturday PM – 05/07/03)
Buck Mountain Baptist Church, Roan Mountain, TN (PM—08/06/03)
Rock Creek Baptist Church, N. Wilkesboro, NC (PM—08/12/03)
Tape # X-51a
Reading: Zechariah 9:9-17