Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jesus is Our Jubilee

I have always loved Michael Card's music. He has a Master's degree in Biblical Studies and is a musician. This pairing of gifts has made for some very beautiful, instructive Bible-based melodies. One of his songs that's been such an encouragement to me over the years is Year of Jubilee.  (The lyrics can be viewed at this website. (It can even be downloaded as a ringtone - who'd a thought?) It is a wonderful song discussing the Year of Jubilee about which God instructed the Israelites in Leviticus 25. The song is so rich, but the line that makes such an impression on me is:

"To be so completely guilty, given over to despair
To look into your Judge’s face and see a Savior there."

Really, can you just imagine? Being guilty of, oh, say, grand larceny and being caught red-handed. You have no excuse because they saw you. You think about pleading insanity or "my mother made me do it." But you know that you are GUILTY. They roughly haul you up to the judge in handcuffs and push you up to the bench, where you hang your head, afraid and ashamed to look up at the judge. You know you will get what you deserve, but how many years: 15 - 21 - 40?? As he slams his hammer down you dare to raise your eyes slightly to him and you hear "innocent - someone else took the punishment." What? Did you hear what you think you heard??

The Year of Jubilee is many things but one thing it is for sure, a picture of Jesus releasing debt and bondage to slavery. 

Romans 3:21-22 says, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made know, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

Hallelujah! We will all stand before our Judge one day and when we do, we will know our guilt. We will know all the naughty things we did and all the hateful thoughts we had and all the times we disobediently neglected doing what we KNEW full well we should have done. But then, if we have trusted Jesus Christ and believed in Him (and that belief involves humbly confessing our sins as we commit them [I John 1:9] and striving for obedience [Romans 6:1-4]) - then we will look into our Judge's face, as it were, and see not the sentence of punishment, but will see our Savior there. Oh my, what relief; what joy; what thankfulness we will experience! Such love!

Paul continues in Romans 4 by quoting Genesis 15:16, which says, "Abram (Abraham) believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness." Part of the text note on this verse in the NET translation says, "Justification does not mean that the believer is righteous; it means that God credits him with righteousness, so that in the records of heaven he is declared righteous." All possible because Jesus paid our penalty and because we believed it.

I want to continually bask in this mercy, the unsearchable provision. What amazing grace! But I so often forget about it as life happens and I get wrapped up in what I can see and feel. Life is short and eternity is long. Really long. I, we must keep that in mind as we go through this vapor of life.

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