TODAY’S READING: LEVITICUS 24-25
As I was reading through these two chapters this morning, there appeared many references to Jesus. But, I want to focus on the year of jubilee in Leviticus 25:8-22. And, within the year of jubilee, I really want to focus on the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth years in verses 20-22.
THE YEAR OF JUBILEE
Israel was to count seven Sabbaths or weeks of years, which were seven cycles of seven years. The seven cycles of seven years were a total of 49 years. Throughout the Bible, the number seven represents perfection and completeness as well as rest. Therefore, the seven cycles of seven years gives the idea of perfect completeness or perfect rest. In a sense, it is the complete fulfillment of creation.
Leviticus 25:9 says, “Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh moth. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.” This verse seems to indicate that in the 49th year, the year of perfect completion, the trumpet would be sounded on the day of atonement. In yesterday’s post, Jesus Is the Seven Feasts of Israel, I mentioned that the feast of atonement occurred on the 10th day of the seventh month, exactly six months after Jesus was selected as the lamb to be slain for the Passover. After the work of Christ was complete, Israel would then afflict themselves on the day of atonement. Therefore, the picture that is being drawn here is of the final day when Israel will see their Messiah and afflict themselves for how they crucified him.
Leviticus 25:10-13 says, “And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field. In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property.”
The 50th year was the year of jubilee. The year after the perfect completion of 49 years was to be consecrated, or set apart. In the 50th year, liberty was to be proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the land. Everyone was to return to their portion of the land. No one was to sow or reap in the land. In other words, the land was not to be worked. But, everyone could eat the produce of the land.
Throughout the Bible, the land is a picture of Jesus. In Creation: A Witness to Jesus, I showed that the land coming up out the gathered seas on the third day of creation was a picture of Jesus. The land was very important to Israel. It was from the land that Israel mined the metals for the construction of the temple. The land provided them food and sustained life. But, to be without a portion in the land, without an inheritance, was to be cut off from the people of Israel and God. But, in the New Testament, the idea of land and inheritance is transferred to Jesus. He is our inheritance. We have access to the unsearchable riches of Christ. We partake of his fruit.
Therefore, I believe the year of jubilee is a picture of God’s people coming to Jesus, their Messiah. All those in Christ would have liberty proclaimed to them. Everyone would return to their portion of Christ. No one would work to have Jesus anymore, but everyone would eat of him.
THE 6TH, 7TH, 8TH, AND 9TH YEAR
Leviticus 25:18-22 says, “Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’ I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years. When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating some of the old crop; you shall eat the old until the ninth, when its crop arrives.”
When we look at these verses through the lens of Christ, we understand that in order to dwell in the land securely we must love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and we must love our neighbor as Christ loved us. These are the two commands that Christ has given us as the foundation of his kingdom. It is then that Jesus will yield his fruit and everyone will eat their fill.
Seven symbolizes rest in the Bible. We know it as the day of the Sabbath. Genesis 2:2 says, that God “rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” So, if the seventh year is rest and no sowing or reaping are to be done, then what are we going to eat?
God answers this question by saying that in the sixth year he will command his blessing to be upon the people. The land will produce enough food for three years. The number six symbolizes work in the Bible. Genesis 1 and 2 tells us that God completed his work in six days. Therefore, when Christ completes his work there will be enough for all for three years. Jesus was raised from the dead three days after he was crucified. One meaning of the number three is it is the period between death and life. Therefore, when Christ’s work is complete we will have enough to sustain us from death to life.
After the seventh year when the land rested, in the eighth year God’s people were allowed to sow the land again. The number eight represents new creation. It was on the eighth day that males were circumcised. Jesus rose eight days after he was selected as the lamb to be slain on the Passover. Jesus’ resurrection on that eighth day was the beginning, the firstfruits, of the new creation. But, this crop that was sown in the eighth year would not be ready right away. Therefore, those in Christ would still have to eat from the old creation. Does this not speak of the now but not yet aspect of the kingdom of God that we are currently living in?
What about the ninth year? Jesus died in the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45, 50 says, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour…And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” But, it wasn’t until Jesus died and went to the Father that he could send his Spirit to us.
Notice that the old crop from the sixth year would be eaten until the ninth year when the crop planted in the either year arrived in the ninth year. The sowing of the new creation in the eighth year would bear fruit in the ninth. How many aspects to the fruit of the Spirit are there? Nine.
It’s in the ninth year that the full fruit of Christ’s kingdom will arrive. It is then that the kingdom will be fully now and no longer not yet. It’s then that we will fully partake of the unsearchable riches of Christ.