The Jubilee has begun!
The Queen’s diamond jubilee year has a dazzling variety of events
scheduled across the country. During this time she will visit many
locations as she meets, greets and celebrates 60 years as monarch.
The term ‘jubilee’ means anniversary or season of rejoicing. It’s an
appropriate term to be used for the celebrations planned for 2012
including a pageant, parade at Windsor, concert at Buckingham Palace,
service of national thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, big lunch and the
burning of beacons. It is clearly the Queen’s hope that it will serve to
bring the nation together.
In the Bible ‘Jubilee’ is also significant as the nationwide release that was
to take place every fiftieth year on the Day of Atonement. The word
comes from the Hebrew word for “ram’s horn” which signalled the
Jubilee’s beginning. It had three components. First,
the land was to be
fallow. The people were not to farm the land, but to grow what grew
, all Hebrew slaves were to go free. Third, the land
reverted to its original owner – which ensured that no citizen would
remain poor or a slave forever. A person selling the land to another was
really selling a certain number of crops, so the number of years before the
Jubilee determined the sale price (Leviticus 25v10, 13). The law showed
that the land belonged to God and that His people were to be free.
Jesus proclaimed that his ministry was a spiritual Jubilee: ‘The Spirit of
the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to
the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and
recovery of the sight for he blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim
the year of the Lord’s favour’ (Luke 4v18-19). His reign as King brings
great blessings and is something to rejoice over: the weight of sin is
removed; his wisdom and way of life brings great freedom. His reign
involved first the endurance of cruel suffering and his death on a cross,
but was followed by his resurrection and
ascension to reign forever.
The Queen has nailed her colours to the mast by
speaking of her own faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
the one in whom true blessings are found. Let’s
follow her Majesty’s lead on this!