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Written by Jim Jordal   
Saturday, 04 February 2012

"IT IS FINISHED"

By Jim Jordal

And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.

The Mission statement of Jesus, Luke 4:17-21, KJV, emphasis mine

What did Jesus mean when he concluded his mission statement with the words, "This day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears"? Obviously he meant more than that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled with this sermon. Jesus meant that his presence in the flesh on the earth with his ability to preach this sermon was God’s guarantee that Jubilee and its principles of righteousness and deliverance were now in effect through his teachings and coming crucifixion. Visible redemption from sin was now here, as was the reality of Jubilee in the earthly kingdom of God. Sin and oppression were now defeated by the promise of Jubilee. God’s plan truly was finished at Calvary. Jesus paid the price for conquering sin in all its forms, hence his words, "It is finished."

It’s difficult sometimes to fully comprehend that Jesus often spoke and acted as if there was to be no intervening time period between prophecies of his coming kingdom and its inception. Yet over 2,000 years have passed without any full manifestation of Jubilee in this earthly kingdom. Evil still runs rampant on the earth and oppressive systems of domination continue their evil ways. Why?

Part of the answer lies in understanding the truth that human concepts of time are irrelevant to God. A thousand years are as one day in his sight. So what Jesus said then about the imminent coming of Jubilee was as if it were in the present, not thousands of years into the future. Following Jesus’ commandments and living as he modeled was Jubilee right now, as it still is today.

Jubilee is here now for those who follow the true teachings of Jesus. They live Jubilee principles daily as they celebrate the freedom and meaning found by disciples of the Master. That the full manifestation of Jubilee is not yet here becomes a profound hope rather than a source of disappointment for them. They eagerly seek what they know is guaranteed by God. Their faith is what the apostle Paul said it was: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1, NKJV).

The apostle Peter referred to this truth as he explained the lame man’s healing to the assembled crowd in Solomon’s portico. Peter said,"that he may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20-21, NKJV).

Contrary to what those who profess to know the exact time of the Lord’s return believe, no man knows the day nor the hour of Christ’s return to complete Jubilee upon the earth. As Peter said, it could not occur until "the times of restoration of all things." The decision as to when that time is remains in God’s hands. What challenges Christians today is to live as if that day were here.

The full manifestation of Jubilee remains to be revealed. But we today can and should assert its principles in whatever ways we can. We live in the world and participate to some degree in its systems, but we are not of the world. We recognize the sufferings of those victimized by the non-Jubilee world systems of oppression. We try to be generous to the poor because that is what Christ said we should do. And we advocate whenever possible against the unscriptural acts of domineering corporations, subservient legislatures and corrupt civil servants.

At present the corrupters and oppressors seem to have the upper hand, but that will not continue. Have faith, God is still in charge and knows what he is doing.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1978, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.