Sermon #61†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† ††††††† Leviticus Sermons

 

†††† Title:†††† The Year of Jubilee

†††† Text:†††††† Leviticus 25:8-17

†††† Subject:The Blessed Emancipation of Grace

†††† Date:†††††† Sunday Morningó2003

†††† Tape #††† X-55a

†††† Reading:

†††† Introduction:

 

How often have you heard someone say, "I wish I could undo the past. If only I could start over, I would sure do things different"? Such sentiments are usually expressed by those of us who are over fifty. But, then, with a sigh of resignation, the person returns to reality and says, "but of course I can't". Of course, we all know it is impossible to rewind the tape of our lives and start at the beginning. Or is it?

 
In ancient Israel the Lord God established a law that required a new beginning every fifty years. It is called ďThe Year Of Jubilee.Ē Our text will be Leviticus 25:8-17.
 
Of all the solemn, typical ordinances of the Old Testament held up to the eye of faith, which foreshadowed good things to come by Christ, none was more blessed to behold and contemplate than the year of jubilee.
 
The year of jubilee was ordained of God to be time of restoration, rest and rejoicing. The jubilee sabbath was designed to be the highest, most glorious, most anticipated of all the Old Testament sabbaths. In the year of jubilee all the woes of the previous forty-nine years were undone, debts were cancelled, property was restored, and families were reunited. There was a complete reversal and renewal of life given to all in Israel who had, by any cause or circumstance, come into debt, lost their heritage, or been subjected to bondage.
 
Proposition: In all these things, the year of jubilee was a picture of Godís great salvation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
 

(2 Corinthians 5:17)"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

 
I.                   What was the significance of the Jubilee Trumpet?
 

(Leviticus 25:8-9)"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."

 
There has been much debate about whether the jubilee trumpet referred to the preaching of gospel liberty in Christ, or to the trump of God that shall announce the glorious second advent of Christ and the consummation of liberty for the sons of God in him. There is no reason for the debate. Clearly, it refers to both. Redemption by Christís blood, regeneration by his Spirit, and resurrection glory are but three aspects of one thingóSalvation.
 
A.     Without question, as I showed you a few weeks ago, the jubilee trumpet was typical of the preaching of the gospel.
 
Our Savior makes this abundantly clear by applying the words of Isaiah 61 to himself in the fourth chapter of Luke.
 

(Luke 4:16-21)"And 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 for to read. (17) 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."

 

(Psalms 89:15)"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance."

 
B.      The jubilee trumpet also refers to the trump of God that shall announce our Saviorís second coming and resurrection glory.
 

(1 Corinthians 15:51-58)"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. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

 
The jubilee gospel trumpet refers primarily to our Saviorís first advent, proclaiming redemption accomplished by the blood of Christ, deliverance from the guilt of sin and the dominion of sin.
 
The jubilee trumpet, as it refers to our Lordís second advent and the sounding of the trump of God proclaims that great day when all the ransomed of God shall eternally enjoy deliverance from the very existence of sin and deliverance from all the evil and bitter consequences of it!
 
II.               Why did the Lord God specifically require that the year of jubilee must always begin on the day of atonement?
 

(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."

 
The jubilee trumpet could not be sounded, liberty could not be proclaimed, the year long jubilee sabbath rest could not begin, until the passover sacrifice was slain, atonement was made, and the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the mercy-seat. Why?
 
Israel was taught by this requirement, and we are taught by it, that no blessing, no mercy, no grace can come down to sinners from heaven, except by the merit, efficacy, and accomplishment of Christís blood atonement.
 
His blood must be poured out upon the cursed tree, his blood must be sprinkled upon the mercy-seat, his blood must be accepted in the holy place, he must come forth out of the tomb, without sin unto salvation, he must ascend to the throne of God and sit down, before grace can come down to sinners!
 
Salvation is altogether by Godís free grace. But Godís free grace comes to us only through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. ďWithout shedding of blood is no remission.Ē
 
Does that mean that no grace was ever given to sinners until two thousand years ago, when Christ died and rose again? Of course not!
 
        This great work was finished in the mind and purpose of God before the world began (Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; Rom. 8:29-30).
 
        It was a work executed in time by the wisdom, providence and grace of our God.
 
So precise and detailed is the order of Godís providence, that even the cycles of the solar system were set by him, and are maintained by him, that the Jews and Romans, with their wicked wills crucified the Lord of Glory (according to the calculations of those who calculate such things) at the time of passover, at the time of the evening sacrifice, in the place where God required the sacrifice to be made (Jerusalem), in the year of jubilee! That makes Acts 2:23 a little more astounding, doesnít it?
 

(Acts 2:23)"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:"

 
        It shall be the matter of our soulsí amazement, contemplation, and joy to eternity.
 
III.           What was to be done in the year of jubilee?
 

(Leviticus 25:10-13)"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."

 
A.   Liberty was to be proclaimed throughout the land.
B.    The exiles returned.
C.   The captive were emancipated.óďIf the Son shall make you fee, you shall be free indeed!Ē
D.   The debtor was set free and his debts cancelled.
E.    Each family opened its bosom to receive once more its long-lost membersóThe Prodigal who had wasted his substance came home!
F.    Every man received his inheritance again.óNot one of Godís chosen, not one soul redeemed by Christís precious blood can ever, by any circumstance, be deprived of possessing forever his inheritance with the Son of God (Eph. 1:3-14). The very law of God demands it!
 

(Ephesians 1:3-6)"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

 

(Ephesians 1:11-14)"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

 
G.   Everybody in Godís Israel enjoyed a time of blessed, blessed rest, feasting upon the provisions of grace!
 
The sound of the trumpet was the welcome and soul-stirring signal for the captive to escape his prison; for the slave to cast off the chains of his bondage; for the manslayer to return to his home; for the ruined and poverty-stricken to rise to the possession of their forfeited inheritance. No sooner had the trumpet's welcome sound heard, than the mighty tide of blessing rose majestically, and sent its refreshing undulations into the most remote corners of Canaanís happy land.
 
H.   But there is one more thing that was required regarding the year of jubilee that is commonly overlooked.óEveryone in Israel was required to measure the value of all things in the prospect of that great day when the year of jubilee would come (vv. 14-17).
 

(Leviticus 25:14-17)"And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: (15) According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: (16) According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. (17) Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God."

 
The year of jubilee reminded both buyer and seller that the land belonged to Jehovah, and was not to be sold. "The fruits" might be sold, but not the land. It all belonged to God. They were just temporary tenants.
 
Moreover, the scale of prices was to be regulated by the jubilee. All human contracts regarding land, trade, and money were torn up the moment the jubilee trumpet was heard.
 

This teaches us a great lesson. If our hearts are cherishing the abiding hope of Christís return, we shall hold all earthly things with a loose hand, valuing them altogether in the light of eternity. "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand" (Phil. 4:4). Oh, may God give us grace to live every moment in the immediate prospect of eternity!

 

(2 Corinthians 4:18)"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

 

(2 Corinthians 5:1)"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

 

If we can but live in the immediate prospect of eternity, valuing all things in the light of eternity, we will not oppress our brethren, but serve them and use what the Lord puts in our hands to serve them and him.

 

I began my message by talking about starting all over, about beginning life anew. Yes, the clock can be turned back. Yes, old things can be put away. Yes, all things can be made new. Not by you. Not by me. But by the God of all grace, through the sin-atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21)"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

 

(2 Corinthians 6:1-2)"We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"

 

May God graciously cause you this very day to hear the jubilee trumpet of his matchless free grace in Christ and give you liberty, blessed, eternal liberty, for Christís sake!

 

The gospel trumpet, blow!Good news from heaven sound

Let all the nations know, to earth's remotest bound:

The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!

Return, all ransomed sinners, home.

 

Christ Jesus, our High Priest, has full atonement made;

Come, weary sinners, rest; you need not be afraid:

The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!

Return, all ransomed sinners, home.

 

Extol the Lamb of God, the sin-atoning Lamb;

Redemption through His blood through all the world proclaim:

The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!

Return, all ransomed sinners, home.

 

Enslaved to sin and hell, Christís liberty embrace,

And safe forever dwell, saved by His wondrous grace:

The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!

Return, all ransomed sinners, home.

 

Though you have sold for nought your heritage above,

Come, have it back unbought, the gift of Godís free love:

The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!

Return, all ransomed sinners, home.

 

Soon, we the trump shall hear, and Christ will come again!

In glory Heíll appear and say to us againó

The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!

Return to your eternal home.