God’s Victory Day – by Desmond Ford
- Bible study
- Christian Evidences
- Christian Living
- Dr Desmond Ford
- Old Testament
Jun 17, 2016 2571
I believe that Daniel 9:24-27 is the greatest prophecy of the Bible. It tells of the coming Messiah and atonement. There is space to quote only a small portion here, but I encourage you to read the entire passage several times.
Seventy weeks 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 anoint the most Holy.
This is God’s promise that he would do something about sin. Legally, he would banish it. God would start the flow of a stream of influence that would culminate in Christ’s return and the empirical banishment of all evil, all death, all tragedy, all pain.
Calvary was D-day. You remember the term. D-Day in World War II happened eleven long, agonising months before VE-Day (Victory in Europe). But once D-Day successfully took place, people said, “The victory is ours. The troops are in.” D-Day was like Calvary. At Calvary the victory was assured.
Daniel’s prophecy points to Calvary—and beyond. The Old Testament always fuses the two Advents of Christ. One of the reasons is because the Second Advent could have come very quickly after the First, had the Jewish nation accepted the Messiah. Instead of 12 apostles trying to take the gospel to all the world, there would have been a whole nation of millions of people engaged in the Great Commission!
A Prayer for Redemption
Let us return for a moment to the impetus of this great prophecy. Daniel prays. He is burdened with the sin of his people, and is visited by an angel who comes to strengthen him. This is a beautiful picture of what was to happen in Gethsemane when Christ took the sin of the world upon himself.
Consider the word-picture of the angel who came to strengthen Daniel: “To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation [atonement] for iniquity”. This literally means “to shut up, to seal up, and to cover up.” It is as though evil is thought of as a person, and put in a prison. A great seal is put on the prison, and then huge mountains of immense stones avalanche down upon the prison and cover it. It’s completely buried.
That is what has happened to your sin, and mine. It has been shut up in a prison, sealed up by the blood of Christ, covered by his Cross. It’s gone, gone, gone. As a result, everlasting righteousness has been brought in.
Pause a moment to consider that term. The gospel is in the phrase “everlasting righteousness”. The Hebrew word for “righteousness” can just as readily be translated “justification”, which in the Bible always means “a declaring righteous”. Note that word “declaring”—not “making”. The Gospel declares us righteous—instantly. We are counted as perfect the moment we accept Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Jesus Christ, the Fulfillment of Prophetic Vision
So, “to bring in everlasting righteousness”, and “to seal up prophetic vision” (that is, all the things the prophets foretold) happened legally and in principle at the First Advent of Christ. Then they are consummated by the Second Advent of Christ.
The fulfillment of the prophetic vision was made possible by Christ. Only because of the Cross can God do these wonderful things for sinners. A just and holy God could not forgive sin unless there had been a Cross.
Daniel 9:24 tells us that all these wonderful promises would be fulfilled when Messiah, the Prince, arrived. Ultimately, the sanctuary would be cleansed, that is, there will be a final end to sin—a clean universe. This is the ultimate explanation of Daniel 8:14.
Numbers and Promises
Daniel’s prophecies are full of numbers; prophetic speculators love to use this kind of data for time charts and date-fixing. But these numbers are more chronography than chronology, even though the prophecies do have some chronological elements, which are out of the scope of this present article.
Remember those wonderful words at the beginning of the prophecy: “…to atone for iniquity…”. This is what happened at the Cross, where the Prince of Heaven came to put an end to sin, to affirm for all time the astonishing fact that God loves us, he accepts us, he forgives our sinfulness, for Christ’s sake.
The heart of Daniel’s prophecy is atonement, the great work of salvation.
There is nothing comparable to Daniel 9:24-27 in all literature, for the heart of Daniel’s prophecy is atonement, the great work of salvation. The Cross of Christ, the atonement of Christ, covers us all. When we lay our hand on the head of the Lamb of God, his atonement covers us. We’ve received the Gift at that point, we have everlasting life, the verdict of the Last Judgement, and heaven has begun. The Holy Spirit has come to us, and we can now claim the promises.
Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6).
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
Jubilee and Rejoicing
Every 50th year, the Hebrews celebrated a Jubilee Year. Slaves were freed, all debts were forgiven, everyone received their family property back. The jubilee was a symbol of what the cross would accomplish. Importantly, it began at the end of the Day of Atonement. So it is with salvation. It begins with the Cross; with the sacrifice of the God of the Universe.
You can see why. Until your sins are forgiven, you can’t really be jubilant. Your laughter and joy is the crackling of thorns under a pot until your sins are forgiven. Tertullian said long ago, “The true Christian is ecstatic, jubilant.” Not all the time, of course, because we still live in this world.
But you can be jubilant, you can be joyous, despite your circumstances, when you know your sins are forgiven. This prophecy promises that joy.
If, by faith, you’ve embraced Christ as your Lamb, your Substitute, your Representative, the Jubilee is for you. Your sins are gone and your inheritance will be restored.