The following summation is particularly helpful to you if you listened to the message I preached at Mobberly Baptist Church on December 12, 2010. If you’d like to hear that message, please visit www.mobberly.org
The angel Gabriel tells Daniel that seventy weeks will elapse before God’s purposes in history are fulfilled. According to Daniel 9:24 these purposes include:
- Finishing transgression.
- Put an end to sin.
- Atone for wickedness
- Bring in everlasting righteousness
- Authenticate vision and prophecy
- Anoint the Most Holy Place
God’s purposes are all about His desire to reconnect with His children whom He created in His image. Daniel divides these 70 weeks into three parts. The first is seven “sevens” – or 49 years. During that period, Jerusalem, with its walls, street, and trench (either a moat surrounding the outside or a sewer system on the inside) would be rebuilt.
Back in B.C. 538, the Israelites returned to their land after captivity. Cyrus released them to return to Jerusalem, but they were too poor to do substantial work on the city’s infrastructure. They returned to Jerusalem barely establishing the altar of the Temple so sacrifices could be made. Then, their focus was on building their own houses. Prompted by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, they then rebuilt the Temple. After the Temple was completed, all other building ceased. Later, in Nehemiah 1, we are told that Nehemiah’s brother who had just returned to Israel and discovered that the holy city was still in ruins, he shared this with Nehemiah. IT do grieved Nehemiah that he persuaded the king to let him go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.
Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued in B.C. 457. While Nehemiah’s wall only took 56 days, the restoration of the entire city walls occupied the next 49 years – or 7 “sevens.” Sixty-two more sevens elapsed, bringing the year to 27 A.D. Jesus of Nazareth turned 30 in that year. Thirty is the age at which a priest can make sacrifices in the Temple. Jesus began His ministry in 27 A.D. and ministered for 3½ years. Then He is killed at Calvary for the sins of the world. Daniel specifically says that after seven “sevens” and 62 “sevens” the Messiah, Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. That’s the story of the cross.