Summary: The Year of Jubilee was a revelation of grace; during it all debts were cancelled, all prisoners were set free, and all inheritances were restored! It occurred right after the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was accepted and was signaled by the sounding of the shofars.
THE YEAR OF JUBILEE & JESUS
A. HUMOR: STARBUCK’S JANITOR (reach your potential?)
1. Ole was looking for a job and heard that there was an opening for a janitor at the local Starbucks. After the interview, the manager said, "You have the job, just sign this paper." Ole made a big "X" on the paper.
2. "What's that?" the manager asked. "That's my mark. I can’t read or write." "What? We're sorry – to work here you have to be able to sign your name."
3. Well, Ole finally got himself a job as a mate on a tugboat, and eventually he became captain of his own tugboat. He did well for himself and eventually had a fleet of ships of his own and became one of the wealthiest men in the community.
4. One day the mayor decided to honor him with a plaque. The ceremony involved Ole signing a form. When the mayor found out Ole was illiterate, he said, "You accomplished all of this not being able to read or write?"
5. "Just think what you COULD HAVE DONE if you could’ve read and write!" "Yes," Ole said. "I could have been a Starbuck’s janitor!"
B. CELEBRATION WHEN WW2 WON
1. WW2 was the worst war ever fought on earth. Most of the countries of the industrialized world were destroyed. There were about 40 nations actually fighting with 61 more extensively involved. There were only 6 neutral countries. Not 85,000, but 85 million people were killed. There were 11 million refugees.
2. On Sept. 2, 1945, the war was officially over, with celebration in the streets throughout the world. Church bells rang, sirens sounded, fireworks lit the skies, and massive crowds celebrated the end of the largest war ever fought.
3. What a feeling it must have been that night – when the danger and toil were over! When everyone could go home in peace.
4. We’re going to look at another similar celebration in the Bible and see what effect it has on us.
C. TEXT & THESIS
1. 8 “‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.” Lev. 25:8-12.
2. The title of this message is “The Year of Jubilee.”
I. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE JUBILEE?
A. REVERSAL OF BAD FORTUNES
1. SITUATIONS OF HARDSHIP. When Israel entered the Promised Land, each family received a generous parcel of land as an inheritance. But God knew that troubles might separate the people from their inheritance.
a. Farmers would lose their house and property because of crop failures or drought. Women had their husbands die and their children wouldn’t have food or clothing; they got into debt and lost their property. Others would lost their money in a business venture, or be on the wrong side of a military action.
b. They and their families would be sold for their debts into servitude, like slavery. There wasn’t any “Debt Consolidation” in those days! Whole families, even the children, would work 10 hours a day just for something to eat and a place to sleep. This might go on for twenty years or longer – almost their whole lives!
2. Then after 50 years, something came, called the Year of Jubilee! What hope! But freedom didn’t occur until the 7th month, the tenth day. Don’t you know those trapped people must have counted the days, longing for their freedom.
3. On the 10th day of the 7th month, while the whole nation was fasting and repenting for their sins, for that was the Day of Atonement. The High Priest killed the substitute, and went into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood 7 times before God.
4. If the sacrifice was accepted, he would come out and announce that they’d ALL been forgiven. Everyone would worship and thank God.
5. At dusk the shofar (ram’s horn) was sounded at the Temple/Tabernacle. [Play the video of the Shofar blowing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ht0ailWQf8 ] Then on the surrounding hills, other horns took up the announcement. From mountain to valley in all Israel, they would blow the shofar. (Often trumpets sounded to WARN, this time to DECLARE victory!)