Before

Day 50

Prayer for the day

I hate those who have a divided heart, but your law do I love.

Scripture for the day

Leviticus 25, Mark 1:23-45

The Year of Jubilee.

The idea of a year where everything gets reset is a lovely one, one that has been co=opted for many a sci-fi novel and even a movie every once in awhile (see Fight Club). But the biblical idea of Jubilee goes much further than simply a year of reset, largely because of the rationale behind Jubilee.

Jubilee was intended by God to be a time when the economic and political realities of the people of Israel were set to rights, in a way. Jubilee allowed those who had lost property to reclaim it, those who had suffered to be renewed…even the land required a rest and received it. Jubilee was not so much a command as it was a concession to the people, to allow them to live in harmony with one another. See how many times God speaks to the Israelites about refraining from oppressing one another. The reason regularly given is that He is the LORD. They are to treat each other well because they bear His name, and because His reputation among the nations rests in the hands and actions of this people.

More than just equality, Jubilee sets things right. It takes things back to the way they were meant to be before they changed. Before poverty struck. Before our sons and daughters had to be sold to pay for food. Before, before, before.

The ministry of Jesus carries us into a similar place. It’s a ministry that moves us ahead, but it moves us ahead into a state of “before.” Jesus comes into cities and towns and performs miracles and healings and exorcisms and all of them are designed to take people back to the state of “before.” Before the sickness. Before the demons. Before the fevers and the leprosy and the withered hands and the blood and the blindness. Jesus’ ministry makes things that used to be ok absolutely right. Jesus’ ministry undoes the damage living in this fallen world does to us, body and soul. Jesus’ ministry, the power of God in this world, reverses the power of sin and death and moves us ahead, into the glorious before, but a better before than the real before.

What changes have you experienced that have you longing for before? Are you willing to allow God to move you forward into an even better “before”?

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