Imagine: your entire personal financial debt is canceled in a moment.
What would happen if you were told today that your mortgage no longer existed? And what if it wasn’t only your mortgage, but your car loan, student loan, and credit card charges as well? How would you feel? Would you be elated, ecstatic, and maybe even… liberated?
Jesus made a similar sweeping cancellation—and it wasn’t imaginary.
He announced, at the commencement of his public ministry, that the debt we owe to God has been wiped out. Jesus declared this truth from the beginning because he knew that with his life, he would pay mankind’s debt in full and bring freedom for all.
Jesus called this cancellation of charges the year of the Lord’s favor. By using these words, he reminded his listeners of the instructions given to the Israelites regarding a Year of Jubilee. Every fiftieth year marked a Jubilee during which debts were forgiven, poverty was abolished, and people were set free.
The Year of Jubilee was an occasion for celebration and restoration.
So, too, is the year of the Lord’s favor. But the “year” has not ended. We live now in the time of favor, and Jesus’s offer still stands.
We can owe nothing to God and receive a fresh start.
According to a February 2014 online article in Time, Americans are becoming more aware of their financial debt. On one hand, it is good to be conscious of our precarious financial situation. On the other hand, awareness alone doesn’t remove our financial debt! This can leave us worried, anxious, and sometimes suffering stress-related illnesses.
Digging our way out of financial debts can take many years’ work.
Yet spiritually, when we realize that we stand in a perilous state and that we are debtors, there is a way out.
We only need to take heed of Jesus’s first announcement—“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor… to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”—and his last, on the cross: “It is finished” to know that our debts are fully paid.
Jesus did not come to proclaim the debt that we owe, but our freedom, which he bought.
YOLO—so choose to live without debt!