Is the Old Testament important for Christians today? I belong to Bible Study Fellowship, Tokyo Men’s Group where over 100 men meet every Monday to study the Bible. For 32 weeks, we are studying the life of Moses (Exodus through Deuteronomy). Now, I realize that the Old Testament is very important for me today.
We just finished studying Leviticus, a handbook for the priests. In Leviticus, God established the Year of Jubilee. Every 50 years, slaves were freed, debts were canceled and ancestral property was returned to the original family.
Can you imagine the joy of the people when this day came? In Jesus’ first recorded sermon (Luke 4:18-19, 21), he reads from Isaiah 61:1-2 which refers to the Year of Jubilee.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Then he says, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” The good news for us is this: Jesus proclaimed that we are liberated from slavery to sin and all its consequences. Occasionally, when I am feeling depressed, I need to remember what Jesus said and the joy that His word brings. I need to remember he proclaims the Year of Jubilee!