Jubilee: Lord of the Sabbath

Jan 07, 2023

God desires that we learn balance of rest work cycles and that He would be a priority in our lives. As we learn to trust Him, He will protect and provide for us.

Matthew 6:33 Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all [the needs of life] will be given to you…

We are going to be discussing our word for this year: Jubilee. It is found in Leviticus 25. Before we can understand Jubilee, however, we need to understand the sabbath year.

Leviticus 25:1-4 And the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.

Sabbath Year - It was a time of supernatural provision and protection. It was also rest for the land, as well as social and economic rest.

Leviticus 25:18-22 “So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety. And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?’ Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.”

We serve a God who desires to bless.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

That blessing requires us to trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.

Why 70 years in Babylon?

2 Chronicles 36:20-21 [Nebuchadnezzar] carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.

490 years of disobedience. 70 Sabbath years unobserved.

Babylonian invasion – 605 BC
Return to rebuild – 536 BC =70 years

Daniel 9:2 I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Daniel began praying, repenting, and interceding for Israel. Then God sent Gabriel to tell Daniel of an additional 490 year time period in the future.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

70 weeks prophecy
1 week = 7 days
1 day = 1 year
1 week = 7 years
70 weeks = 490 years

Daniel 9:25-26 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off.”

7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks or 483 years
Last “week” (7 years) = The Great Tribulation Period

Jewish Calendar uses lunar years – 360 days. We use solar.
Artaxerxes to Nehemiah on March 5 of 444 BC
+ 483 lunar years = March 30, 33AD – The day of Jesus’ Triumphal entry, last supper, arrest, and execution.

Jewish history as well as prophecy centers around Jesus and His Sabbath. In fact all human history hinges upon the arrival of the Jesus. BC – before Christ. The OT was people toiling to free themselves from the chains of sin, looking forward to the Messiah and His redemption.

The NT or new covenant is about our resting in Him and trusting in His work on the cross. He is our rest. He is our Promised Land, our hope and our home.

Hebrews 4:8-9 If Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

This year is 2023, meaning 2,023 years have passed since the birth of Christ.

Daniel 7:25 speaks of the antichrist who will change the laws and the times. While this speaks of a specific person and events in the future, the spirit of the antichrist is at work already.

Anti – not against, but in place of, or seeking to replace

Times AD anno domani latin – year of our Lord. Secular academic community motivated by the spirit of antichrist CE – common era.

The enemy can try to chance BC to BCE but I know my Redeemer lives. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That means He is Lord over both time and space, regardless of how someone else wants to try to reinterpret it. When all is said and done, there will be only One on the throne – the name above all names, not Darwin, Freud, or Nietzsche, but Jesus Christ!

Matthew 12:8 The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.

The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus because of jealousy and because He healed on the sabbath. In fact, He healed almost exclusively on the sabbath.

Matthew 12:10-14 There was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him. Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

I don’t want to become so religious that I only focus on what Jesus did to upset my perception of reality, and completely miss Jesus and the miraculous in the process.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

To fully grasp the depth of what Jesus is saying here and to understand the significance of the sabbath year, we need to understand what sabbath is.

Sabbath means to rest or cease from labor. But it doesn’t mean to chill, sit back, and stop working. It means to complete a task to the best of our ability, and then to trust God for the results.

John 5:16-17 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

God gives glory to completed work. He gave Moses a detailed list of instructions to build the tent of meeting around 1500 BC and when he finished the work, glory filled the tabernacle. He gave Solomon a list of instructions to build the Temple 500 years later and when he finished the work, the glory of God fell.

He gave glory to Adam and Eve when He finished working – “very good”

God created 6 days and on the seventh day He rested, or ceased from working in creation.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Adam was given work in the garden, but because of sin, it became toil or labor.

Genesis 3:17-19 Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…

Ever since, man has been working overtime to make ends meet. Working two sometimes three jobs and still just barely making it. This is why God had to command His people to observe shabbat – a day of rest. We feel that we need to work 7 days a week to make it happen – God says rest and trust Me. If you do, I will make your 6th day twice or three times as productive.

The sabbath was about learning to trust God. It’s the same reason why He commands the tithe. Will we trust Him with our time, our treasures, our hearts, and our lives?

The Law required sabbath. Sometimes the Lord has to make us lie down. The Law could only offer the requirement and the consequence. It is only in Jesus that we find our rest.

The Law made demands, but Jesus offered an invitation.

Jesus came to break the power of sin and the curse. He gives us His Holy Spirit and grace to have productive work instead of hard labor and unproductive toil.

John 1:17 The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.