by Bernie KoerselmanJesus Came Exactly When Prophecy Said He Would
Perhaps the most specific thing God could prophesy about His Christ (Jesus) would be the time of His coming. So God did that. God specified the time of His coming so specifically that anyone who knows the prophecy and still denies Jesus is the Christ is in deliberate rebellion against God.
Through an angel, God told Daniel the time of the coming of the Christ. The angel said, "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One (Christ), the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,' and sixty-two ‘sevens'" (Dan. 9:25 NIV). Daniel's prophecy continued: "After the sixty-two ‘sevens,' the Anointed One (Christ) will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary" (Dan. 9:26).
What happened? The Christ did come and was cut off; He was killed by crucifixion. Thereafter He was resurrected and ascended to heaven. His earthly ministry was terminated (cut off).
Researchers have calculated the times represented by the prophecy (each number represents a 360-day year). The interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Christ as King would be 173,880 days. The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C.
Though the NIV translation of the Bible says the prophecy refers to the "Anointed One, the ruler," the words are Mechiach Nagid, meaning Messiah (Christ) the King. Nagid was first used of King Saul.
During Christ's ministry, on several occasions the people tried to make Him king, but Jesus denied them, saying, "My time has not yet come."
On the day we know as Palm Sunday, Jesus meticulously arranged for His presentation as king in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah which stated, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zech. 9:9).
Jesus entered Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey (Matt. 21:5). The crowds went wild; the people praised God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. They cried out, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord."
The Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to rebuke the people because of what they were saying. Jesus said, "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out" (Luke 19:37-39). As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes" (Luke 19:41,42).
Why would the stones cry out? What should they have known "on this day"? It was 173,880 days from the day the decree had been given to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes Longimanus. Exactly as prophesied, to the very day, Christ the King had come!
The rest of Daniel's prophecy was fulfilled when the Romans came in 70 A.D. and destroyed both Jerusalem and the Sanctuary.
Taken from What the Bible Says About a Saving Faith, published in 1992 by Berean Publishers, P.O. Box 886, Newton KS 67114. The book can also be obtained from email@example.com.