I love reaching the check-in counter at airports. I am so thankful for the attendant who is waiting there to relieve me of my weighty, cumbersome baggage. From there, though, it’s the not-always-so-pleasant-but-necessary security check, where I and my carry-on bags are examined for harmful substances that might be tagging along with me.
When I get through there, I’m close to being on my way. But before I board the plane, I’m faced with the dreaded carry-on challenge. Will the dimensions meet the limits so I can keep my bag with me on the flight? (If you’re a frequent flyer, you know those specifications are never the same from one flight to the next.) If I exceed the limits, I know that the airline has a plan for me…surrender the baggage or don’t fly. I have yet to discover a reason why I would ever opt to forfeit reaching my destination for the sake of keeping my baggage.
In our last post, The Exodus: An Old Testament Picture of a New Testament Problem, we pointed out the unseen baggage that Israel was carrying on the first leg of their journey to the Promised Land. At first glance, we only see a people of sudden transformation:
- from slavery to freedom…
- obscurity to prominence…
- destitute to wealthy.
The Exodus is the journey of a lifetime!
It’s an unimaginable dream come true!
The miracle so captures our attention that it’s easy to miss the concealed baggage. But it’s not hidden from God’s eye.
And God had a plan for that extra baggage. He had a designated check point along the way to instruct Israel how to prepare and make their journey a blessed experience. That check point was Mt. Sinai. It was there that He intended to relieve Israel of the cumbersome baggage He knew would only work against them in the Promised Land.
But Israel would not surrender the well-worn, familiar baggage, and seeing where it would eventually lead, God had a plan for them down the road.
It must have come across as completely nonsensical to the Israelites when Moses publicized God’s Year of Jubilee.
- a free people need a provision to be set free from slavery again?
- a people of immense wealth need a provision to have their debts forgiven?
- a people who were about to take possession of God’s Promised Land need a provision for returning to it?
Why? Because God knew something. He knew that the people He had just delivered (and generations that followed) were destined to be slaves again. He saw it in the baggage that He knew they were not yet willing to surrender.
The Jubilee Year is a picture of God’s tremendous love for His people.
God longs for His people to live free. And aware that Israel was bound to forfeit the abundant life He had for them, He provided for a second chance. They just had to take hold of it when it was offered every 50 years at the blast of the ram’s horn on the Day of Atonement, which signified that God had accepted the nation’s sacrifice for their sins.
As the story goes, Israel did fall into slavery again. And there is no certain evidence that the Year of Jubilee was ever exercised. But the story isn’t at its end.
When Jesus stood in the synagogue, with all eyes fixed on Him, He declared His purpose for coming to earth:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
Through Christ, God extends His freedom plan, not just to Israel, but to all who are laden with sin that keeps them in bondage.
Today is the Day of Salvation
Have you surrendered your baggage to Christ?
For He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold now is “the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Now is your Jubilee Year
Are you trying to follow Him while clutching to a carry-on that doesn’t fit and hinders your ability to reach His destination for you?
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
We are passionate about leading God’s people to freedom from the “old man” that has been carried over into the new life, which hinders them from walking in true abundant life in Christ. To learn about this vital ministry and the personal and/or corporate ministry/teaching we offer, contact us at: [email protected].