We’ve been looking at Jesus fulfilling the hope promised by the Sabbath, and, in Leviticus 25, we can read about both the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee. These were times to withdraw from labor, to forgive debts, and to give rest to the land. Furthermore, it was a time of freedom, a time when slaves would be released from their indentured labors just as God had freed His people from the shackles of Egypt.
Freedom by Grace
In His grace, God provided time for His people to retreat from the cares and stresses of this world, but this was a grace paired with faith. In this grace and faith, those who owned indentured servants were to release them form their labor. It was a time of forgiveness and freedom. Debts were forgiven, and chains of servitude were released, giving those indentured individuals a new lot in life filled with new hope and new responsibilities.
This was an act of grace. It was to teach the people about God’s grace — both as givers of grace and receivers of grace. This would be a life-changing moment, released from the debts that had accumulated during your life. It is a great act of forgiveness, and Christ offers us an even greater forgiveness in the redemption He provides us through His sacrifice.
Freedom by Forgiveness
Forgiveness can be difficult. We may have a hard time forgiving someone who lied to us, who hurt us in any way — especially if that person is someone we care deeply about. Now imagine the love Christ has for us, the harm we inflict upon Him through sin, and the great debt we have built up with our sins. The beginning of Galatians 4 tells us we were once slaves held down by chains of unrighteousness, but now Christ has freed us and made us sons of God.
Christ releases us from the debts of sin. He frees us from our slavery to unrighteousness. He gives us peace from the turmoil of this world. He has lifted us from the status of slave to being members of God’s family. This is grace that is greater than all our sins, and it is a grace that no power in this world or the next can stop.
Freedom for All
The freedoms provided in the Sabbath system were worldly freedoms. It was a forgiveness of physical debts. Jesus promises something greater than this world. He provides a freedom that goes beyond this world and gives us a home with Him in the next. He releases us from chains that Satan would put around us, and it is a release none but Him can provide. He is our redemption. He is our forgiveness. He is our hope. He is our Sabbath Freedom.
lesson by Alan Miller