Weekly Drash - Behar
Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
The Year of Freedom
Behar-Bechukotai – בהר / בחקתי
: "On Mount Sinai" / "In My Statutes"
Thought for the Week:
The Jubilee foreshadows the coming of Messiah in several ways. Like the Messiah's coming, it is instituted with the blast of a shofar-trumpet blast: "You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land" (Leviticus 25:9). The Jubilee year is a time of redemption for the land of Israel. It is the time of redemption and freedom for the people of Israel. In these ways, it foreshadows the coming of Messiah. When the anointed King Yeshua comes, He will redeem the land of Israel and set the people of Israel free.
You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you. (Leviticus 25:10)
The year of Jubilee is the year of freedom. According to the Torah, a Hebrew slave could only be enslaved for six years and then had to be released in his seventh year of servitude. Even if a slave had not served his six years when the Jubilee arrived, his term of service was over and he was set free. Once every fifty years was a Jubilee year. The Jubilee year set free all who were enslaved, regardless of how long they had served.
This is a good illustration of the difference between the personal salvation of the individual and the universal salvation of the nation. Throughout the course of time, individuals experience redemption on individual levels, but when Messiah comes, "all Israel will be saved." (Romans 11:26)
The Torah uses a particular Hebrew term for the national salvation of the Jubilee. In the famous Isaiah 61 passage about the Messiah, the same term is used to describe the coming of Messiah:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty (deror) to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
In Luke chapter 4, Yeshua read this Isaiah passage aloud in the Nazareth synagogue and applied it to Himself, saying, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21) He identifies Himself as the one anointed with the Spirit of the LORD and His ministry as the year of the LORD'S favor. This does not necessarily mean that the particular year Yeshua read the passage in the synagogue was the Jubilee. Instead, the Master applies the meaning of the Jubilee to Himself and His ministry. He is the source of release, freedom and redemption.
But in what sense was this prophecy fulfilled? Did the Master really usher in the great redemption? In fact, we still wait for the final redemption, but the Master's death and resurrection accomplished the redemption of our souls.
If we will repent and turn to Messiah, we can enter into the Jubilee even now. We may enjoy a personal redemption in advance of the ultimate redemption. Our Kinsman-Redeemer has already paid the price for our ransom, and He extends His hand to lift us up out of the miry pit. We need only place faith in Him, submit our lives to Him, declare His name, and cast our allegiance with Him. The doors of redemption stand open before us even now. These shackles will slip from our wrists if we will repent, if we will turn from sin and follow after Him.
Shavuah Tov! Have a Good Week!
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