by Roy Gardenier

It seemed at first like merely a fleeting glance; a brief but profound glimpse into the reality of the whole relationship. The vision so powerful in my heart went like this.
Imagine a father who loved his only son in a way that he loved no other person. He and his son had been inseparable since the very beginning. The son worshipped the very ground his father walked upon and made it clear in everything he spoke and did that he idolized his father and was concerned primarily about what his father was into and how he could best support him in all his endeavors and enterprises. The father loved this son not only for who he was but also for what he was. A more respectful, submissive, dutiful and loyal child and heir could never be found. As for the son, his father was everything to him, and from his viewpoint, the father could do anything and everything that needed to be done. What was incredible was that the father and son were exactly alike in every way. It was astonishing. The son was not only the spitting image of his father in every way imaginable, but he was the embodiment of every word the father ever spoke, every bit of truth or command he had ever dished out. For the son there was no one he preferred to associate with; no one as satisfying to share with, to confide in. It was truly a beautiful thing to behold - this mutual affection and deep, deep caring between this father and son. As I say, I only caught a glimpse of it for what seemed just a fleeting moment. Yet, what I saw in that brief interval moved me to the depths of my being.
As in all relationships not absolutely everything is pure sweetness and light. There were always some difficulties and dangers. It seems in the nature of things that even when something is perfect, especially when things are super satisfactory, there's always someone out to spoil it. But opposition grew and grew until it became life-threatening. The animosity against the son started out with probing questions, developed into belligerent confrontations. Antagonism against the one who merely represented the father and spoke in his name was interspersed with outbreaks of violence, built up to public revilings and reached a crescendo with a mob scene hurling jeers, taunts and insults at a mortally wounded and broken man. I have to repeat. All this just seemed to flash through my mind. There wasn't time to focus on any of the whys and wherefore involved here. I couldn't dwell on deep considerations or any kind of explanation. There was no reasoning in what I beheld; no puzzling out or weighing pros and cons. It was like an intuitive flash that nearly simultaneously illuminated two, and only two, realities: the ineffable sweet love and tenderness in the father/son relationship; and the horrible human hostility that culminated in a fever-pitch of hatred against the dutiful son who sought nothing more than to promote the personal peace and general goodwill that was his father's stock-in-trade.
The consequences and conclusions of these insights were just as swift and certain as the initial revelation. I "felt" the father's everlasting gratitude to his sacrificial son, generous beyond words, in his willingness, even eagerness, to carry out his father's plans and designs even to the cost of his very self. In this I was aware of a deeper aspect of the father's character that I had known but never really fully sensed before. Because of what his precious, only son was willing to undertake and carry out- JUST IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD MEAN TO YOU TO SEE YOUR ONLY CHILD TREATED IN A SIMILAR MANNER BY PEOPLE YOU ONLY WISHED WELL TO AND WHOSE INTERESTS YOU WERE STRIVING TO SERVE, PROTECT AND PROMOTE ... It became clear to me as never before that there is nothing that that father would refuse to undertake; no expense or effort spared; no request would be refused if it were made in the name of and to promote and enhance the glorious memory of his most cherished child.
     For nearly two thousand years now the Father's own chosen ones have blindly blasphemed the name of His Son. Over the centuries many Gentiles have either ignored the whole scenario or using the name of the Son, have arrogantly preferred a substitute scheme for salvation. Many of these matters I have stated are referred to and confirmed by the Scriptures. It was my intent not to go beyond, let alone contradict or distort anything that is contained in the very Word of God. If I  have written the letters small and kept the story simple, it is only with the hope that the realities described will loom, large in the reader's heart and that the truth of the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will entwine itself around that heart "more fervently still". May the great God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless this writing to encourage believers to come more boldly before the throne of grace!


   It’s the Day of Our Freedom

                                                                                                       by Eloise Gardenier



od loves liberty and freedom. It is His plan that we be freed from all forms of bondage and oppression. The Law of Moses is a wonderful example of God's desire to free man from not only sin and death, but to make his daily life on earth replete with the benefits of justice and freedom. Every government has weighed the necessity for control and order against freedom and usually freedom is the loser. But in God's law it was possible for every man to be free to love his neighbor, live without fear and be able to worship God in troth and reverence. God set up a law that proclaimed loudly His love of freedom and liberty. No government or institution has ever made such a daring and bold decree as God did when He instituted the year of Jubilee in Israel. The following is a look at this wonderful law and the spiritual commitment God has always had to making men free in all respects.

Over the years I have sent out a "Jubilee" letter to friends and family members who were about to celebrate their fiftieth birthday or fiftieth wedding anniversary. This is because it foreshadowed aspects of the work that was accomplished by Christ's death on the cross. The greatest act of liberation was Christ's suffering and death on the cross at Calvary. But God's total commitment to liberty was long before established in this wonderful law from the Old Testament.


The Jubilee Trumpet

In the Scriptures the fiftieth year is known as the year of jubilee. I quote from a book called Manners and Customs of the Bible. "The year of jubilee was ushered in by the sound of trumpets throughout the land every fiftieth year, on the Great Day of Atonement. Like the Sabbatical Year, it was a year of rest to the soil." (I think we could, in a spiritual sense, change soil into soul). My bible dictionary states that those trumpets were "ram's horn trumpets", which is exciting to me. I can almost hear them calling us to rest now. God wants our souls to be free from toil and labor and to find the acceptable rest that comes from trusting Him completely. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" Hebrews 4:9-11 Because of Christ's death on the cross our whole life can be a life of Jubilee.

In Leviticus 25:9-14 we read;

"Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another." Then in verses 17 & 18 we see,

 "Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God. Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety." And verse 23, "The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me." And verses 35 & 36 we see; "And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. "The last verse of the chapter tells us; "For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." Lev. 25:55


If we were still under the law we would have to wait fifty years for past problems, abuses, mistakes and inheritances to be atoned for. Only then could family members be reunited and rightful possessions be restored. The year of jubilee was a foreshadowing of when, in one day, on a cross, one man would atone for every man, woman and child's sins. The only provision being that each man, woman or child receives the atonement. Instead of having to wait fifty years for the spirit of atonement or restoration to come and restore all things, it became available for all, at any time, during the "age of grace". Jesus Christ our Saviour, paid the price for this gift for each of us. All we have to do is ask and receive His mercy, because He laid down His life in our place. He is ever generous with mercy, forgiveness and will provide us with a whole new life, if we are willing to receive it.


The Acceptable Year of the Lord

Isaiah the prophet foretold the coming of the "Anointed One". In Chapter 61, speaking in the first person, he prophesies of a later time when Jesus would stand up in the synagogue on the Sabbath to read from verse 1 and 2. In Luke 4 we find that the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him and he read this from it, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18 & 19 In Isaiah 61 we have a prophecy about Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, and His ministry. Again we see the theme is proclaiming liberty to the (physical and spiritual) captives, and the opening of the prison and of the eyes of those who are blind. When? "The year for His favor"; The Jubilee.

In Luke 4:17-21 when our Lord, Himself, stood up and read from Isaiah 61, He read only this far - "To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." He then stopped without finishing the verse. He sat down as they all gazed at Him and proclaimed "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." Luke 4:21 He did this because He is the one who sets all captives free. Before He came, men were only set free from bondage every fifty years. This is one of God's many pageants acted out by His "chosen people" the Jews to show us how much we need a Saviour. Jesus was the living fulfillment of "the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound” (Luke 4:19 Amplified Bible). He is that free gift from God for our salvation. Isn't it something, the one which sets free is a free gift! We are saved by faith not works, lest any man might boast. Jesus stopped there and because of Him we have been living in the age of grace for almost 2,000 years, yet many people never hear this message that is so simple, the message that can set them free in body, soul and especially spirit. We read in John 8:32 (Amplified Bible) "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." When the Jews that were present protested that they were Abraham's seed and in bondage to no man, He answered them with "You are slaves of sin, every one of you. And slaves don't have rights, but the Son has every right there is! So if the Son sets you free you are free indeed." (John 8:34-36 Amplified Bible) Praise God!

Remember Jesus stopped reading before He finished Isaiah 61. The part that was left says; "And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who morn". He stopped there because only that much had been fulfilled. The age of grace began almost 2,000 years ago where all we have to do for salvation is accept Jesus as our personal Saviour through His finished work on the cross. Soon that age will be at an end "and the day of vengeance of our God' will begin. Praise God, we can escape all those things that are coming on the world to try it. The end of the age is upon us, and Jesus is coming back soon! In Revelation 3:10 we are promised; "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." We praise and thank Him that He has made such wonderful provisions for those who want to obey Him.


The Trump of God

Just as Jesus was raised on the third day, we who are "looking for, and hasting unto the day of God" wait for the time when we, too, will be resurrected as it is promised in I Thessalonians 16 and 17: "And the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air."

As far back as Leviticus the trumpet of the Jubilee - a picturesque ram's horn, was sounded. I believe the ram's horn is a prototype of the one yet to come. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" (I Thess 4:16). Now we who have been set free by Jesus, our Saviour, await "the trump of God". The trumpet that will call us "up hither" to be the "bride of Christ". "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thess 4:18

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