This Jubilee series began with wonder about the inscription on the Liberty Bell at the Pennsylvania State House from Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.”
Biblical freedom has as its final aim liberation from slavery to sin and communion with God, and thus ultimately transcends this world and its political systems. Yet the biblical vision of humankind made in God’s image, destined for a life beyond this world, has inspired countless men and women to better the lives of their brothers and sisters in this world. Thousands of hospitals, orphanages, schools, and charities have sprung from the commandment to love God and neighbor. The Jubilee decree itself animated the movement to abolish slavery in America.
Beyond nations, states, Pharaohs, and Caesars, the covenant made with Abraham and Moses leads to a Promised Land beyond this world:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.Galatians 3:28-29
“My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus said to Caesar (John 18:36). The death and resurrection of Christ, the Lamb of God, gave birth in the Spirit to descendants of Abraham “as numerous as the stars in the sky,” and established a new “nation” and people beyond ethnic or political boundaries.
But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.1 Peter 2:9
For human dignity, let us stand!
Let liberty ring throughout the land!