The Old Testament Predicted the Time of Christ’s Crucifixion
The Old Testament predicted the time of Christ’s first advent and the year of His crucifixion. The angel Gabriel to said to Daniel: “Seventy weeks,” said the angel, “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy” (Daniel 9:24).
In prophecy, a day stands for a year (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6). The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period was given by the angel: “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” (Daniel 9:25). Sixty-nine weeks represent four hundred and eighty-three years.
The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus, went into effect in the autumn of 457 BC (Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9). From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of AD 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In AD 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and soon afterward began His ministry.
The angel said, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years]…” ( Daniel 9:27). For seven years after the Savior entered on His ministry, the gospel was to be preached especially to the Jews; for three and a half years by Christ Himself, and afterward by the apostles.
The Exact Year of Christ’s Crucifixion
Gabriel the angel said, “…in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27). In the spring of AD 31, Christ, the true Sacrifice, was offered on Calvary. After His crucifixion, the veil of the temple was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance of the sacrificial service had ceased. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and oblation to stop by His crucifixion.
The one week – seven years – ended in AD 34. By the stoning of Stephen, the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel; the disciples who were scattered abroad by persecution “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4); and shortly after, Saul the persecutor was converted and became Paul the apostle to the Gentiles.
Thus, the Old Testament in Daniel 9 predicted the exact year of Christ’s crucifixion. Most amazing precise prophecy!
The Sure Word of Prophecy
Bible prophecies confirm the inspiration of Scripture. The Lord declares, “I am the Lord . . . new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:8, 9). “I am God . . . Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9, 10). Prophecies are like seed. When God’s prophets gave them, there was not the slightest evidence that their words would ever be fulfilled, but centuries later those predictions met an amazing fulfillment in Christ.
History is not a simple matter of chance (Daniel 4:17). God has a purpose for the world, and that purpose will come to pass just as it has been predicted (Isaiah 45:18, 19). Regardless of what may be the devil’s plans and what ruin he may carry out by sin, God’s Word will be accomplished. The Lord’s ultimate plans know no haste and no delay.
In His service,