Lent Devotional: Leviticus 25
by Jonathan Haefs
Leviticus 25 (click here)
“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.”
“You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God.”
“If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave:  he shall be with you as a hired worker and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee.  Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and go back to his own clan and return to the possession of his fathers.  For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.  You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God.”
“For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 25:10, 17, 39-43 and 55)
What is Cruciform Community?
Cruciform simply means cross-shaped. A community that believes, declares, and demonstrates the sacrificial love of the crucified Christ to one another and the world… that is a cross-shaped, a Cruciform Community.
God’s people have always been called to sacrificial love for one another and the world. The year of Jubilee outlined in Leviticus 25 puts this beautifully on display.
God put in place protections against oppression and injustice. The Israelites were to treat one another as family, not as economic resources to be abused for one another’s gain. The rich were not to be ruthless, but sacrificially caring toward the poor. No one could “own” anyone, because were “owned” by the Lord!
God constantly holds up himself as the pattern for his people. Through sacrifice, he redeemed them from slavery… thus, they are to be commited to one another’s redemption and freedom no matter the sacrifice! In fact, they should JUBILANTLY sacrifice for the good of each other. And, this year of Jubilie should stand as a witness to the world of the redeeming God these people serve.
There was no society like this in the ancient world, and for that matter, there is no society like it today!
But there should be.
The church looks to the cross of Christ in the same way the people of Israel looked to the Exodus. Upon the cross, Christ instituted a new Exodus for his people. Through sacrifice he led us out of slavery to sin, redeemed us and set us free.
Now, we put that sacrificial love on display toward one another. Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
And, through loving one another with a sacrificial love that reflects the cross of Christ, the world begins to catch a glimpse of what the cross looks like. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
When people look at our community, do they see a love that reminds them of the love of Christ on the cross. Does our community take on the very shape of the cross? Is our community cruciform?