Jubilee and resurrection….freedom !!!

12 03 2011

DAY SEVENTY-ONE : Leviticus 25 v. 1 – 26 v. 13; Mark 16 v. 1 – 20; Psalm 33 v. 1 – 11

LEVITICUS
The Sabbath Year – six years of sowing and harvesting, but a seventh year of sabbath : ‘rest, to the Lord’; no sowing or reaping; ‘the land is to have a year of rest’. Anything that does grow during that year may be picked and eaten. Of course, we know, to avoid soil erosion / depletion, it is good for a field to lie fallow, have a year off !

Sabbath is not just about rest, but also about maintaining fruitfulness.

The Year of Jubilee – every fifty years (count off seven sabbath years) will be a year of Jubilee (the word Jubilee derives from a Hebrew word meaning “ram’s horn” – the Hebrew trumpet – the one used on the Day of Atonement – link between putting things right with God and putting things right with others). The trumpet blast (on the Day of Atonement) heralds the year of jubilee – each one returning to his family property and clan. Only the wild fruits grown in the fields can be eaten (no sowing and reaping).

God will provide generously in a sixth year, to cover all needs in the sabbath (seventh) year.

Property value relates to the number of years until the next Jubilee, when land is passed back to its original owner / clan. This would prevent families and individuals becoming increasingly rich or poor.
“Land must not be sold permanently, because the land is Mine, and you are but aliens and My tenants.”
Those who become poor during the forty-nine years, and have to sell off property, are raised back up in Jubilee year, and receive their property back.

Homes sold in Levitical towns are returned to their original Levite family at the Jubilee. Levitical farmland must not be sold – it is a permanent possession for the Levites.

The community is to help someone who becomes poor – no lending for interest (instead, fear God).  There is a reminder that God has provided everything the Israelites have needed through the Exodus.

The poor person who sells themselves into slavery is to be treated not as a slave, but as a hired worker and SET FREE during the Jubilee. Different rules apply for those from neighbouring nations, or temporary residents, bought into slavery, but people can be redeemed (bought back) by blood relatives, the price dependent upon how many years to the Jubilee, when they are set free anyway.

The freeing of land and the freeing of people both remind the Israelites that they and their land are the Lord’s. He has provided for them. They are His.

Reward for Obedience – Chapter 26 reads as a rewording of the covenant relationship; if the Israelites will ‘not make or worship idols’, and ‘observe the Sabbath’, and ‘follow my commands’, then God will
~ send the rain in its season, bringing abundant harvest
~ grant peace for the land
~ provide military success
~ make them fruitful, increasing their number
“I will put my dwelling-place among you; I will walk among you, and be your God, and you will be my people.”
“I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

God will reward the faithfulness and obedience of those who keep His commands, and worship Him alone. The land will flourish.

MARK
The Resurrection –
It’s early  morning on the third day
When the women who come to bless the body
Find the boulder rolled away.
An angel robed in dazzling white
declares the news they couldn’t grasp
“Jesus the Nazarene – He has risen
He’s not here”; no time to gasp –
the women ran, with fear and dread.
Silence reigned…….
(or did it)
PSALM
“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous…
make music to Him; sing to Him a new song;
play skilfully and shout for joy…
For the word of the Lord is right and true;
He is faithful in all He does.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of His mouth…
the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever,
the purposes of His heart through all generations.”

Some later manuscripts go further…
the risen Lord Jesus appears first to Mary of Magdala
(yes, the one who had demon after demon delivered from her – seven in total)
and she was the first to share the news – unbelievable to many!
Next on the road, Jesus appeared to two of them – more news travelling, but hard to believe.
Then, all the disciples get a special visit – at food time – a reminder of all those meals and chats together.
But oh, their lack of faith; and their refusal to believe those who’d brought the news !!
“Go, preach and baptise….” that all may be saved.
“Drive out demons, speak in tongues, handle deadly snakes (they will be harmless in their hands), heal the sick”.
Jesus ascends.
Off the disciples go, doing just as Jesus commanded, and everything He said came to be !

MARK’S GOSPEL complete ! What a breathtaking book – exhilarating, and captivating – drawing us in the drama – inviting us to be disciples today. Yes, Lord !!

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