Jubilee

Abstract: In the Exodus, God delivered his people from slavery in order that they might rest securely with him in his special Promised Land. In order to preserve and reinforce this work of redemption (liberation), God instituted the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55), also known as the “year of liberation.” Every fifty years, this Jubilee was proclaimed throughout the land. Those who had been forced to sell themselves into slavery due to economic hardship were freed; and, likewise, land that was sold was returned to its family. The year of Jubilee both reveals God’s immense compassion for the downtrodden and points us forward in anticipation to the ultimate Jubilee that is achieved for us by Jesus (Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:16-21).



The Jubilee (Lev 25:8-55; cf. 27:16-24; Num 36:4; Jer 34:8-22), also known as a “year of liberty” (Ezek 46:17), was a special institution given by God to preserve and reinforce his work of redemption on behalf of his people.

In the Exodus, God had liberated his people from the bondage of slavery under the Egyptians. He did so in order that he might claim them as his special people and cause them to dwell securely (rest) in his special place (the Promised Land) (e.g., Ex 3:8; Lev 25:38). In so doing, God was recovering his purpose for creation — God’s people dwelling securely with him (resting) in God’s special place.

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Christ as the Cornerstone of God’s Redemptive Temple-Building Project

The following is an excerpt from some material I composed for the teaching ministry of South City Church. You can listen to the sermon on which this material is based here — Our Identity and Calling in Christ (1 Peter 2:4-10).


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In our passage this week [1 Peter 2:4-10], Peter makes use of this idea of temple.

Our understanding of temple begins in the Garden of Eden. If we were to look at Genesis 1-3 carefully, there are signs that we are suppose to see the Garden of Eden as something like a temple — a place where God dwells with humanity. Later when God gives Israel the tabernacle and temple, interestingly enough he tells them to decorate them with trees and things that make them look like a new Eden of sorts. The Garden of Eden is a “garden-temple.” And it is in this garden that God dwells with humanity without hindrance, without the intrusion of sin. Humanity experiences God’s presence and worships him perfectly.

When Adam and Even rebel, however, sin enters the equation. And this breaks the relationship between God and mankind. God, who is immeasurably holy, cannot tolerate sin. God’s, in his perfection, cannot dwell in the presence of sin without destroying it. This is why in the Old Testament, the levitical (temple) Law speaks of things being “unclean” and the sacrifices and their blood “cleansing” and “purifying.” It was through the temple and its sacrifices that God was able to dwell with his people again, despite sin. This is why God gave the temple, so that he could dwell with his people. And this is why he ordered the sacrifices, to deal with their sin.

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Redemptive History Summaries

1 | Creation (Genesis 1-2)
God’s creational-kingdom intent is established.

2 | The fall (Genesis 3-6:8)
God’s creational-kingdom is lost; and humanity enters into a state of perpetual disbelieving disobedience.

3 | The flood | Noahic covenant (Genesis 6:9-11:26)
God confirms his commitment to his creational-kingdom intent despite humanity’s depravity.

4 | Abrahamic covenant | the patriarchs (Genesis 11:27-50:26)
God initiatives his new-creational kingdom plan in the form of covenant-bound promises to Abraham.

5 | The exodus (Exodus 1-18)
God begins to execute his covenant-bound, new-creational kingdom purposes by means of a deliverance.

6 | The Mosaic covenant (Exodus 19-Deuteronomy 34)
God gives his people—Israel—a conditional covenant (i.e., blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience) whereby his people could experience the blessings of the new-creational kingdom.

7 | The wilderness wanderings (Numbers)
God’s people fail to enter God’s new-creational kingdom due to disbelieving disobedience. God postpones yet remains committed to his covenant-bound purpose of bringing about his new-creational kingdom.

8 | Entrance and life in the promised land (Joshua, Judges, Ruth)
Although God is faithful to his covenant-bound purposes to bring about his new-creational kingdom, God’s people only experience a partial realization of it due to disbelieving disobedience.

9 | Monarchy | Davidic covenant (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles)
Through covenant-bound promises to David, God specifies how he will exercise his new-creational kingdom intent of reigning over as well as through his people: he will reign especially through kings from David’s line.
However, due to disbelieving disobedience, as exemplified in the splitting of the kingdom, God’s people continue to fail to experience the full extent of God’s new creational kingdom.

10 | Wisdom and songs (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)
God supplies wisdom and songs for his covenant-bound, new-creational kingdom people.

11 | Exile | new covenant (The Prophets [Isaiah-Malachi]; Esther)
Due to disbelieving disobedience, God’s people—Israel—experience the covenant-bound curses. They experience the opposite of the covenant-bound, new-creational kingdom blessings.
However, God promises a New Covenant in which he will deal with these covenant-bound curses, eradicate his people’s disbelieving disobedience, and thereby finally and actually bring about his new-creational kingdom.

12 | Return from exile (Ezra, Nehemiah)
God brings many of his people back from exile. However, this is clearly not the ultimate realization of the new-creational kingdom of which the New Covenant spoke.

13 | The Gospel—the mission of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
God becomes a human being—Jesus—and initially but decisively brings about God’s new-creational kingdom. He does this centrally through his death and resurrection.

14 | Pentecost | the Church (Acts; the NT epistles)
God’s people is transformed into a community of Jews and Gentiles who experience the beginning realities of this new-creational kingdom by faith. God increases his new-creational kingdom through this people—the Church—as they proclaim the Gospel and live out its entailment or implications.

15 | The return of Christ | consummation (Revelation 21-22)
God fully brings about his new-creational kingdom upon Jesus’ return.


See this series of posts for further elaboration and explanation of these summaries.

Redemptive-Historical Survey: 14 | Pentecost & the Church (LDBC Recap 5/8/16)

Explanation

logo-lake-drive-baptist-churchOn Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.

Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.

See previous posts:

Recap/review

In this week’s recap we will cover three sections: (a) Pentecost and the church; (b) the return of Christ and the consummation of the new-creational kingdom; and (c) some final conclusions to our study.

We begin by reviewing the role of Pentecost and the church in redemptive history.

Overview of Biblical material

Acts; the NT epistles

  • God’s new people, the Church, is begun.
  • The Gospel spreads throughout the world.
  • The Church wrestles over emerging theological issues (e.g., the inclusion of Gentiles and the question of circumcision).
  • The apostles instruct these young emerging churches (cf. epistles).

Role within redemptive history

Summary: God’s people is transformed into a community of Jews and Gentiles who experience the beginning realities of this new-creational kingdom by faith. God increases his new-creational kingdom through this people—the Church—as they proclaim the Gospel and live out its entailment or implications.

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Redemptive-Historical Survey: 13 | The Gospel–the Mission of Jesus (LDBC Recap 4/24/16)

Explanation

logo-lake-drive-baptist-churchOn Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.

Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.

See previous posts:

Recap/review

This week was surveyed the role of the Gospel–or, the mission of Jesus–in redemptive history.

Overview of Biblical material

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – The life and saving work of Jesus.

  • God becomes a human—Jesus of Nazareth.
  • He works great miracles.
  • He teaches great things.
  • He is eventually killed by the Jews and Romans.
  • But three days later he rises from the dead.

Role within redemptive history

We can summary the central role of the Gospel in redemptive history as follows: God becomes a human being—Jesus—and initially but decisively brings about God’s new-creational kingdom. He does this centrally through his death and resurrection.

As always, we will break this down into in various parts for closer examination.

  • God becomes a human: the incarnation’s relationship to the Gospel

First, we want to consider the incarnation’s (lit. “infleshing,” i.e., the event God becoming a human) relationship to the Gospel and its fulfillment of this new-creational kingdom.

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