When Messiah Came

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (Daniel 9:25)

This remarkable prophecy, given through the angel Gabriel to Daniel the prophet, actually predicted the date of the coming of Christ nearly 500 years in advance. From the announcement to the coming of “Messiah the Prince,” there would be 69 “weeks” (literally “sevens,” meaning in this context “seven-year periods”). That is, Messiah would come as the Prince 483 years after the commandment was given to rebuild Jerusalem. There is some uncertainty about the exact date of the decree, as well as the exact length of these prophetic years, but in each calculation the termination date is at least near or, in some cases, exactly the time when Christ entered Jerusalem to be acknowledged as its promised King.

However, Gabriel’s prophecy went on to say: “And after [the] threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off” (Daniel 9:26). That is, although He would come as promised, instead of being gladly crowned as King, He would be slain. Since the 483-year period terminated long ago, it is clear that Messiah must already have come and then been put to death at that time.

The terms of this remarkable prophecy have been precisely fulfilled in Jesus Christ alone, and no one coming later could have done so. It is no wonder that He wept over Jerusalem, pronouncing her coming judgment, “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44).

We, like He, should weep and pray for Israel. Yet, in God’s omniscient planning, “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles” (Romans 11:11), and in this we can rejoice. HMM

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