Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hag Samaech (Happy Holidays)

It is one of the Holiday Seasons here in Israel (although not the most important) and we are completely enjoying the entire experience. We celebrated the first night of Chanukah with some friends in the neighborhood complete with traditional donuts, traditional prayers, and games. My wife will give the full story at The Jerusalem Letters so check it out there.

One thing that really stood out to us was the enriching experience that the Festival of Lights or "Chanukah" has for followers of the Messiah Jesus. First of all, it was enriching just to be in Jerusalem where this event originally took place just as Jesus was in John 10 where it says he was in Jerusalem for the feast of dedication. In addition to that, this holiday has great Messianic symbolism and is worthy of a study so go and study because that is not the point of this post.

One thing that came out of our time last night was the hope for the Messiah and the belief that the Messiah will come during a "Year of Jubilee". This is a year that happens every 50 years and is intended to forgive all debt and return land to rightful owners. Basically it is a year of redemption and forgiveness. It is a year that puts all people back on equal ground before God. So it is plain to see why tradition says that the Messiah will come on a year of Jubilee.

I can't be exact on all of these dates but it looks like 1) During the time of Christ the year of Jubilee was 28/29 AD. 2) Jesus spent 3 or 4 Passovers during his public ministry. 3) Jesus was crucified in 32/33 AD. Which means that it is likely that the Messiah Jesus began his public ministry during a year of Jubilee. In other words, he came to forgive debt and offer redemption on the year the nation of Israel was commanded to do the same. I will do a little more research to check these dates but it is pretty amazing if this is the case. And if it is not the case, it is still pretty amazing that Jesus offers redemption and forgiveness of debts.

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