ECA is approaching the halfway mark of its 49th year of Christian schooling in Colorado Springs, and already we are preparing to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. My question for you is this:
“If we truly understand the biblical concept of Jubilee, why wait to celebrate?”
In human terms, we can get wrapped up in the numbers associated with our 50th. For instance, we are about to have our 30th graduating class and have already seen more than 750 graduates. Considering that it took 20 years before we had our first graduating class, it is conceivable that ECA has touched thousands of lives. However, has it really been about what we’ve done, or is it really about what God is doing through Christ?
A proper understanding of “Jubilee,” the 50th -year Sabbath mentioned in Leviticus 25, provides us with a shadow of an answer! Leviticus 25:8-10 states: “You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.”
You may have heard it said: “In the old the new is concealed, but in the new the old is revealed.” Simply put, we can better understand the Old Testament when we grasp what God has done for us in Christ as revealed in the New Testament. R.C. Sproul sheds light on Jubilee in this way: “In the new covenant, the spiritual and moral teaching of the jubilee continues to be relevant. In Luke 4:19 Jesus proclaimed that the great jubilee had come. God was taking the earth back from Satan and would give it, little by little, generation by generation, to his faithful stewards. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus spoke in the synagogue, saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Sproul continues, “The jubilee year meant release from debt and bondage. It was a type of the jubilee that Jesus inaugurated. Salvation in Christ is God’s jubilee to his people.”
Singer-songwriter Michael Card clarifies this point further in the lyrics from his song, Jubilee:
“The Lord provided for a time for the slaves to be set free
For the debts to all be canceled so His chosen ones could see
His deep desire was for forgiveness, He longed to see their liberty
And His yearning was embodied in the Year of Jubilee.”
As ECA approaches its Jubilee celebration, may we fully understand that the work of forgiveness and freedom is not the work of ECA, but indeed a work of the Lord that we are privileged to witness here.