The number fifty.
It stands for deliverance, for freedom.
God’s chosen number that cuts chains, breaks bonds.
God declared it so.
That every fiftieth year His people would be released from their debt. Land would be returned to the rightful owners.
You were free to start over. Nobody was holding anything over you. Nobody was tying you down.
It wasn’t enough for God to relieve your burden. To release you. To wipe away your shame. God declared a party. It’s as if He was saying, “Go ahead…laugh, rejoice, and do it all year long!”
This is Jubilee.
The number fifty.
God’s chosen number of days between the Resurrection and Pentecost.
Fifty days after Jesus breaks through the ultimate bondage; death, the Holy Spirit comes to empower us to live radically good. To step into the nobility we were meant for.
Yet, we are so easily ensnared.
We have the keys.
But when we forget what we were made for; when we lose our way because we have decided to put away our compass, we actually believe that being tied down is a good thing.
We forget it was just a couple of years ago we wretched in our guts at the realization that three girls, tied down for another man’s pleasure, were hidden right under our noses. That year we feared for our daughters. This year we lend them our books.
We live in shades and shadows that make their own proclamation: that pain and chains and ropes and whips can bring us a pleasure we never thought possible. Human trafficking puts on cologne and a tie and the girl gives consent. Come this Valentine’s Day so many of our lovely, lovely girls will believe that consensual means everything is okay.
A young woman pumps her fist in the air when another fifty, shadowed and grey, shows up during the big football game. I watch as she turns to look at the middle-aged women sitting behind her to see what they will do as she shouts, “Ye-ah” when a different Christian comes on the screen. She whispers in the boy’s ear in whose lap she sits as the camera slides past a woman’s thigh and the closeness of it captures the tiny hairs shimmering gold.
It’s a beautiful shot.
Then…what looks like a riding crop meets girl skin.
And it’s oh so funny to the lovely young lady sitting in front of me.
I wonder what scars she could receive come this Valentine’s Day after dinner and a movie.
The enemy of our souls is a thief. He steals our hearts, our minds and our bodies by inviting us to live in the shadows of bondage and pain and he dares to call it good.
Coincidentally, some Jewish scholars are calling this year, 2015, a Jubilee year.
It is so like the enemy of our souls to try and run parallel to what God is doing.
It is so like him to get us to exchange truth for a lie.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Jesus took every whip, every chain, every nail because He knows we are meant for something nobler.
We are meant to live in the light, not shadow.
We are meant to love purely…sacrificially, without pain, without chains.
Jesus is our Fifty.
He is our Jubilee.