Friday, March 16, 2012

Why the accuracy of God's word fuels faith and hope

Daniel 9:25-26a 25“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing,

How accurate and trustworthy is the prophetic word?
Daniel gives us a detailed prophecy concerning the destiny of Israel and Jerusalem.  The events to which God decrees (His purposes) center around the first and second comings of Jesus Christ, and include the crucifixion and the yet to be revealed anti-Christ (God's predicted plans). 

According to the prophecy, the 490 year period of time is divided up into three main sets: 49 years (7 weeks);434 years (62 weeks) and the final 7 year period of time (1 week).  The first two sets encompass the time from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the week Messiah is cut off.  Those first two sets comprise 69 prophetic weeks or 483 years period of time (with each year containing 360 days).

As we saw yesterday, in history Artaxerxes Longimanus of Persia issued a decree to rebuild the wall and city of Jerusalem on March 14, 445 b.c.  This decree had reaffirmed an earlier decree made by his predecessor, Cyrus, in the book of Ezra in 539/538 b.c.  Nehemiah 2 records Artaxerxes decree and support of Nehemiah beginning the project.  According to Daniel's prophecy, from that decree until the cutting off of Messiah would be 69 total weeks (483 years).  Since the Jews reckoned their years by 360 day periods, we can work out Daniel's prophecy in terms of days:

69 prophetic weeks or 483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days.

Now when you count 173,880 days from March 14, 445b.c, you arrive at April 6, 32 A.D, the very day Jesus strode into Jerusalem in His Triumphal entry!  That very week Messiah was going to be cut off!  Those people who in the Gospel accounts were throwing their cloaks at Jesus' feet, shouting "Hosannah! Hosannah!" would be in a span of five days shouting "Crucify Him! Crucifiy Him!". 

The prophetic word leads you to the cross, and to the second coming
To know that God's word is this accurate pertaining to what took place in Christ's first coming, we know that the same level of trust can be given to what it says about Christ's second coming.  This is why the scriptures must be daily in our hearts and minds, because only through them can my faith be fed by the cross and my hope be fueled by His soon return. 

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