You may be one of those people who have asked, "How can we be sure that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament who would redeem men from their sins?"
Well, besides Jesus fulfilling every prophecy written about the Messiah's first coming, 33 of them fulfilled at His crucifixion alone, God gave an amazing mathematical puzzle to confirm that Jesus was indeed the promised Savior and that the present scheme of things will close with a final 7 year period.
We find in Chapter 9 of the Book of Daniel verse 24 that seventy weeks of years were appointed to the Jews to put an end to sin and transgressions.
One may ask, "What are the seventy weeks of years?"
These seventy weeks of years in actuality are 70 sets of 7 years. This biblical language of each day of these weeks representing a year is not uncommon usage as can be found in Num. 14:34, et.al.
If one still believes that the "70 weeks of years" are literally just weeks containing 7 days, then we can only advise them to continue to search the past for the promised Messiah since by prophecy He would have had to have been here and killed in less than 1 ½ years of when this prophecy was given in 443 BC
A Jewish prophetic year contains 360 days as is determined by biblical studies. The total years of this prophecy as is deduced by multiplying the 70 sets of 7 years as 7 x 70 comes to 490 years.
As we read on in Dan. 9:25, the Bible explains that from the
time the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah would
be "cut off" (or translated in other words "be
executed") would be a total of 69 of these prophetic weeks
of years, that is 483 years.
By calculating from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus entered Jerusalem the 10th of Nisan or the Julian date of April 6, 32 AD
Counting the total days between the 14th of March 445 BC and April 6, 32 AD, making allowance for leap year days, the interval contained exactly and to the very day 173,880 days, or exactly seven times 69 prophetic years of 360 days.
The first prophetic 69 weeks of years totaling 483 years was
fulfilled precisely as prophesied. (To learn more of this incredible
prophecy read The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson).
But now one may ask, "What about the final set of seven years prophesied as the 70th week, where is it?"
Time has frozen for the Jews regarding this final 7 years since the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem upon the colt of an ass and was then rejected (see Luke 19:35-48 & 23:12-24). We have now been living in what is commonly referred to as the time that the fullness of the Gentiles is to come in (see Romans 11:25), or the Church Age.
Salvation has now been freely offered to all who will accept Jesus as their Savior. The clock has stopped on Daniel's final 7-year prophecy until the last member of God's church has come into the fold and the fullness of the Gentiles is complete.
According to the Scriptures there will be a recognizable moment in time when the final 7 years will begin. Very soon an evil prince prophesied of in verse 26 of Dan. 9 will reactivate God's time clock to start counting down the final 7 years before the glorious return of Jesus Christ and all His beloved Saints.
In this message we will not deal with the extraordinary events the Bible reveals will take place during thee remaining final 7 years. It is enough to make mention that Jesus aid of this time in Matt. 24:21, "For then there will e great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
In Dan. 9:25 the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years makes a definite break at the 69th week with the coming of the Messiah.
Verse 26 does not continue on counting into the 70th week, but instead clearly indicates that some things were to take place "after" the 69th week and "before" the 70th week.
First we are told that during this interlude the Messiah would be "cut off, but not for Himself." The word "cut off" in Hebrew is "karat" which means, "executed." Jesus Christ was executed just as was prophesied and by reading such prophetic passages as Isaiah 53 one can see that His execution was permitted by God for the sake of others and not for Himself.
The second event which was to take place was the destruction of the city and the Temple by the People from where an evil last day's ruler is to come from.
Just as prophesied, the city and Temple were leveled in 70
AD by Titus of the Roman Empire during this interim. By this
historical fact we know 3 very important things:
The 70 sets of 7 years would have had to have concluded in 39 AD with the prophesied destruction of the city and temple.
According to Dan. 9:24, at the true close of the 490 year prophecy, God is "to bring in everlasting righteousness and to anoint the Most Holy." This cannot happen until Jesus Christ returns.
The event which will be the identifiable marker indicating that the 7 years has begun, according to this prophecy, will be that a 7 year covenant will be confirmed (or strengthened) by the ruler that is to come from the people that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD.
Our final revelation from these prophecies of Dan. Ch. 9 that we will expound upon in this message is found in verse 27. We find that after 3 ½ years into this 7-year covenant this evil ruler will finally show his true intentions when he turns against the Jews and causes their sacrifices and offerings to cease.
What this prophecy is saying is very insightful, for you see; the Jews will not restore their ancient system of biblical sacrifices unless they once more have access to the Temple Mount which is currently under Arab control.
It is very likely that the 7-year covenant will include the provision for the Jews to once more have access to their Holy grounds and be permitted to rebuild their Temple upon the northern section of the Temple Mount.
A giant bulge developing in the southern wall of the mount in 2002 may have dire consequences for the Islamic holy sites.
In the past, PLO President Yassar Arafat has made numerous references in speeches and interviews of the need to respect the religions of Christian and Jews and for their respective holy sites.
Many students of Bible prophecy suspect a struggling deal regarding giving Jews access to the Temple Mount has already been drawn up, although unable to be brought forth as of yet.
The soon to take place defeat of Israel's enemies as prophesied in Psalm 83 will bring about the needed contrition which will energize the Temple rebuilding issue.
This moment is the time for any person who is straddling the fence to make their commitment to Christ sure. Eternal life is available to any person who recognizes their sinful condition and will put their faith in the Risen Lord Jesus for forgiveness.