We are set to celebrate the Grand Jubilee of the Emancipation Proclamation, and yet millions of our people unjustly languish from the horrific shackles of inadequate education-and hundreds of thousands, and their families, tragically suffer through the additional shackles of incarceration.
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How is this possible?
"Jubilee" is a very strong Biblical term, mentioned 14 times in Leviticus 25 alone! It was the blessed year, in a 50-year cycle, when people were liberated from all shackles and all debts. Every family was again given their portion of land, the ancient key to economic empowerment. Within these initial Jubilee instructions we read the staunchest statement of liberation-Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants-the bold Bible verse prophetically written on our Liberty Bell years before 1776. "Jubilee" comes from the Hebrew "jubil," a ram's horn blown everywhere to proclaim precious personal and social liberation.
"Jubilee" is also the understood core concept in Jesus' prophetic proclamation of his own life purposes at the very beginning of his ministry, when he read publicly from Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me.
He has anointed me
to tell the good news to poor people.
He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners.
He has sent me so that the blind will see again.
He wants me to free those who are beaten down.
And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free. [Luke 4, NIRV]
2013 marks the "Grand Jubilee" during which all these themes can come together. This is the 150th anniversary of the great Emancipation Proclamation, put in effect January 1, 1863, the brief two-page document that initiated the legal transformation of America, abolishing slavery forever. Even though the eloquent Abraham Lincoln wrote it, the words are plain and legal, even geographically limiting the initial benefits.*
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Paul de Vries