This week, as Americans, we celebrated the most significant event in our nation’s history – the American revolution. The word revolution, according to the dictionary, is a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system. By the grace of God, the American revolution has meant a better way of life for many millions of people, both here and abroad, for well over two-hundred years.
There is another revolution coming, that by comparison will make what has happened in America seem like it was not a better way of life at all. The overthrow will take seven years, the Bible refers to that period as the Tribulation. At the end of that time, Jesus Christ will set up a literal thousand-year rule, by which, He will reveal to the world the significant difference between His government and all the prior nations in all of human history.
At the time Jesus began His earthly ministry, he went into the synagogue and read from Isaiah the prophet. He purposely turned to the portion that said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18,19)
The significance of what took place in that hour is mind-boggling. The favorable year of the Lord is that time in history when the government changes from human authority to divine. The kingdom of God is that kingdom where God is king. The entire problem of man’s present predicament of suffering and death is bound up in the concept of self-rule. Israel was meant to be an example of divine rule – a theocracy, but it never attained to God’s stipulated law.
Therefore, for the past two thousand years, the Gospel has gone forth through the mouths of the most unlikely prophets. The last phrase in Jesus’s proclamation reads in our English translation “…to set free those who are oppressed…” Literally, in Greek it says, to send forth or (commission as messengers) by those who have been broken, crushed, and shattered, the favorable year of the Lord.
The favorable year of the Lord is only beneficial to all those who have acknowledged and exchanged their sinfulness and inability to please God for the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He saves and then sends forth those who have experienced the brokenness of their sinful condition and the healing that only Christ can provide. He sends them as sheep among wolves.
To be Christ’s slave is to experience true liberty, freedom from sin’s captivity is to become a captive of righteous behavior or a slave of love. To love Christ is to love the only One who truly deserves it, the One who offered Himself as a living sacrifice to set the captive free.
So happy independence to all my brothers and sister in the faith!
Do yourself a favor and meditate upon…
THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps, His day is marching on.
I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel! “As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal! Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, “ Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat; Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free! While God is marching on.