I am sure than many of us will have experienced Royal Jubilees, such as the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and then there is the nation’s anticipation of next years 70th celebration of Queen ELizabeth’s accession to the throne. However, in biblical terms, Jubilee has another significance.
In Scripture, we see the Israelites place an important emphasis on certain days of the week, certain holidays and observances throughout the year, and even certain years. The Year of Jubilee, which came every 50th year, was a year full of releasing people from their debts, releasing all slaves, and returning property to who owned it.
This year was also dedicated to rest. During this year, the Israelites were not supposed to reap or harvest; it was a time for people to return to their families and loved ones.
So why did this happen during the fiftieth year? The Bible places a special emphasis on the number 7. After all, there are seven days in a week, and the seventh day is supposed to be the Sabbath, a day dedicated to rest and worship: 7 x 7 = 49 years. So, after seven years of Sabbaths, we reach the 50th year. A year dedicated to rest, to restoration of property, and to freeing people from debts, servitude, and slavery.
Perhaps, the sense of Jubilee is what is missing from today’s society and culture. With that said, what Jubilee's year and the requirements to rest show Christians is that rest is to be taken seriously. Workaholism is a rising problem all around the world. The Lord doesn’t want the people of God to make work an idol, thinking that if they work hard enough at their job or whatever they do that they can provide for their needs on their own.
The Lord, for the same reason, wants people to step away from their busyness. Sometimes this can look like taking twenty-four hours away from the day to day things that occupy us to focus that time on worshiping the Lord.
Whatever this looks like, for you, the Year of Jubilee emphasises the need to trust the Lord each moment of each day, month, and year of our lives. Christians should dedicate our whole lives to the Lord, which is the Jubilee year's larger goal. Each person can find times to rest, forgive others for how they have wronged us, and trust the Lord.