The law of the Sabbath was not limited to the weekly Sabbath, for every seventh year was designated as a year of rest for the land as well. Even further, God commanded the children of Israel to celebrate a year-long Sabbath following each complete cycle of seven Sabbath years (7 x 7 years = 49 years in all). This fiftieth year was called the Year of Jubilee.
The prophetic significance of this fiftieth year is unparalleled in Scripture. It is the Sabbath of all Sabbaths. The Year of Jubilee was a unique Sabbath in that it expanded the definition of rest to include such themes as redemption, liberation, and restoration. In the Year of Jubilee, debts were cancelled, bondservants were freed, and lost inheritances were redeemed.
The Year of Jubilee is also called “the Acceptable Year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2). Jesus deliberately chose this Acceptable Year as His text when He stood up to read in His hometown synagogue towards the beginning of His ministry. When they handed Him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, He unfurled it and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:16-21).
Luke’s account continues, “Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.” It is significant that the Master did not remain standing but sat down before speaking any further. In an obvious posture of rest, He proceeded to announce, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!”
It is equally significant that Jesus stopped mid-sentence in the text. The rest of the sentence in Isaiah 61:2 & 3 continues: “And the Day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
The Chronos Lesson: Jesus deliberately identified Himself with the Year of Jubilee from the onset of His ministry. Whenever we preach healing, liberty, recovery, and deliverance we are, in essence, preaching God’s Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee is the ultimate Sabbath, for in its ultimate sense and in its fullest expression, it speaks of none other than Jesus Himself. Truly, He is our Year of Jubilee!
Once again, however, this prophetic shadow doesn’t just tell us what Jesus would do, but when it would come to pass. Without going into tedious details, Scripture records that the first Jubilee was celebrated when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. More specifically, when the last trumpet, the 50th blast, brought victory against the fortress of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down, thus began the Jubilee cycles.
It should not surprise us, then, that thirty cycles later signaled another prophetic event in God’s timetable. It happened, not coincidentally, when Jesus was 30 years old—He was anointed for ministry at His baptism. It coincides with the beginning of His earthly ministry in a range of years from 26 to 30 AD (based on the window of years for Jesus’ birth).
According to the biblical chronology, the 70th Jubilee is projected to occur in 2028, which just so happens to fall within the window of time allotted for the beginning of the 7th great Day from Adam. This means that the 7th great Day and the 70th Jubilee will start at the same time! As we might expect, the fifty-year cycles associated with the Year of Jubilee relate to Christ’s first and second appearances.
There was a total of 30 Jubilees until His first appearance; and apparently, there will be another 40 Jubilees until He appears again. Just as Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days in preparation for His earthly ministry, so the Church must spend 40 Jubilees in the wilderness of this world in preparation for our millennial ministry in which we will co-reign with Christ from above in Heaven.
When we are seated as the heavenly court, our ruling declarations will release the trumpet and bowl judgments that constitute God’s vengeance against evil. The primary target of this vengeance? “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:8).