Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, June 26, 2015
Based Upon Daniel 9:25
If you seek Him, you will see Him
“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.”
As the prophet Daniel tried to understand the prophecy of the seventy weeks of years, he humbly confessed his sins and the sins of his people. Like the prophet Isaiah as shown in Isaiah chapter 6, he understood fully that he was equally responsible for the iniquities committed against God, which were the cause of the Babylonian captivity.
At the beginning of his prayer, the Bible says that the angel Gabriel was dispatched from heaven to give the sorrowing prophet skill concerning the vision (Daniel 9:23). How fast was this mighty angel of God able to move from one place to another, if during a prayer he was able to leave the heavenly courts, and before the prayer was finished, he reached earth, countless light years away?
The story continues. This vision in some ways included both the seventy weeks and twenty-three hundred year prophecies since both had the same starting point in history (Daniel 8:2, 14; 9:22-23). Gabriel reveals the starting point of the vision as “from the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,” Daniel 9:25. This command, which included not only the rebuilding of the temple, but the city as well, with the return of power to the Jews to rule according to their own laws, occurred in 457 B.C. by Artexerxes (Ezra 4:7-23; Ezra 7:12-26). From the year 457 B.C. to Messiah (which means anointed) the Prince, was sixty-nine prophetic weeks. In symbolic Bible prophecy, one day equals one literal year (Numbers 14:34; Luke 13:31-33). Sixty-nine prophetic weeks equal 483 literal years (sixty-nine times seven days).
Did you know that exactly 483 years later (27 A.D. including the year zero), Jesus Christ, whose name means anointed, received the anointing of the Holy Ghost at His baptism explicitly fulfilling the prophecy?
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased,” Luke 3:21, 22.
Less than two months later Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from the book of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,” Luke 4:18-21. Gabriel continues by revealing the sacrificial death of Jesus that would occur three and one half years later (31 A.D.), and the rejection of Him in 34 A.D.
What is the moral of this story? At a time when one of God’s people was bewildered and seeking Him diligently, God chose to reveal the ministry and sacrifice of the Messiah. Of all the events that would occur between the time of Daniel and the end of time, God chose to give a snapshot of the gospel.
God is still revealing Himself through the gospel today. In our times of deepest need, if we persevere in prayer, He will reveal Himself in the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus is still the answer to all of our inner turmoil. Let us search for Him while He can still be found, and live in a constant attitude of prayer.