The words “the year of the Lord” are taken from the book of prophet Isaiah, which Christ read in the synagogue in Nazareth.
We can find the proof of this event in the Gospel of Luke: “And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:17-19).
Then the Savior says, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).
Through these words, Christ revealed the truth of the prophesy of Isaiah: the One about Whom the prophet has told comes now to proclaim salvation for the all of humanity. The time of purification, enlightenment and freedom from spiritual slavery, ignorance, sin and death.
According to the exegetes, the expression “the year of God” in the book of Isaiah refers to the so-called “Jubilee year” set by God and celebrated in each 50th year – once in seven times seven years. It was the year when people had to rest from their work, free their slaves and forgive any debts.
We can find the reference to the anniversary in the Old Testament book of Leviticus: “That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you” (Leviticus 25:11).
The word “year” in the Church Slavonic language has the meaning of the “calendar year” or just “time”. Under the Jubilee year, we can understand the period of special preferences for the whole Israel people, which was stated by the law.
“So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety” – God says about the Jubilee year (Leviticus 25:18).
The expression “the year of the Lord” is a synonym of a year, which the Church begins in autumn; of the Church New Year which comes on September 14 (September 1).
People call it the year of the Lord’s grace, when they want to specify a period, which has been favorable for them, or which they are still going to live with hope for God’s Providence.