Photo by Mariia Kamenska
Are you ready to have your faith validated? Are you ready to see the promise of God perfectly fulfilled? Are you ready to see Palm Sunday as you have never seen it before? If so, please focus and concentrate on the Scripture, details, facts, and mathematics to come!
As we approach this time of year that we call “Easter," perhaps we ought to ask, what about Palm Sunday? Why do some celebrate it? Is it a day of significance? Should it mean something to us today? The answers to these questions could lead us to great encouragement and a sense of anticipation in our faith.
One quarter of the Bible is prophetic in nature. God takes great pleasure in saying, and seems to often say, “No one can tell you what is to come except God Himself...so, let Me tell you what is to come!” God foretells the future, so that when the future unfolds, we will understand that He is God and that His plan for us is trustworthy, and in fact, that He Himself is trustworthy! What if I told you that the screen, or piece of paper, which you are reading this article is about to turn multicolored, flash with stars and sing Happy Birthday to you, and that after that I had something very special to tell you specifically about your future? You would probably think that I am delusional and not in my right mind!
But what if, just now, the screen or page which you are now reading did turn multicolored, did start flashing with stars, and did start singing, “Happy Birthday to you!”? Might you be ready to hear from me about the special thing that is about to happen in your future? I suspect you would be all eyes and ears. That is precisely what God did in predicting the exact day of the coming of the Messiah, the ‘Sent One’, so that when he came to present himself to Israel as their long anticipated Savior, they would recognize him and accept him!
Well, did they?
Please take the important time to read Luke 12:12-41, and John 19:28-44 to become familiar with the account of Jesus’ formal entrance into Jerusalem to present himself as King. As Jesus rounds the Mount of Olives riding on a donkey, the symbol of a King coming in peace, he wails and cries over Jerusalem because he knows that they are about to reject their long-awaited King, when they could have known that he was arriving on this very day, prophesied of by Daniel the prophet! If they had been reading and believing the Scriptures they would have anticipated this exact moment and been ready for the coming of the Messiah.
In John 12:42 he said, “If you had known, even you, especially in this, your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” He goes on to tell of the impending destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and says, “you did not know the time of your visitation.” Because they would not hear the scriptures written hundreds of years before, they were rejecting, as a nation, on this very day, the promised One who could deliver them.
If this prophecy was not fulfilled, then God was wrong. If God was wrong, then we are lost! Next, you will see how God pre-stated and foretold the exact day that Messiah would be rejected by the nation of Israel. You will see this prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 as God’s promise that Jesus would come, and that if we wanted to be ready for him, we could know it for sure!
Below is a rather basic diagram that hopefully will allow us to visualize the prophecy and fulfillment of the very Day of the coming of the Messiah. However, there are some things that must be addressed before understanding can be made clear.
Found in the book of Daniel, chapter 9, there is a prophecy that is made concerning the first and second comings of the Messiah, the promised and anointed One, who is to deliver Israel. It is a foretelling of the end-times. Beginning in verse 20, Daniel says that while he was praying a man/angel appeared to him and told Daniel that he was about to give Daniel understanding of the dramatic events that would unfold in the future and said, “consider the matter, and understand the vision":
“Seventy ‘weeks/sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.”
First of all, we need to understand that the Hebrew word that is translated as “sevens” or “weeks” is the word “shebua." This word means any period of seven days, or seven years (the context to determine which meaning). The number “seven” is important in Hebrew culture. They observed a seven-day week, rested on the seventh day, the Sabbath, and they were also required to observe a seven-year “week” where every seventh year they allowed the fields to lie fallow in order for the ground to regain its nutrients. In the context of this prophecy, it is clear that the “sevens” described here are to be understood as yearly “sevens” and not daily “sevens”. Therefore, this prophecy takes place over Seventy Weeks of years, or 70 years x 7 years = 490 years (see the diagram title).
It is important to note that this prophecy is directed to the people of Daniel and the holy city. Therefore we see that this whole prophecy is referring to the Jews and to Jerusalem. It is written to the Jews, but for the benefit of us all.
Many people did not see the first coming of the Messiah and the second coming of the Messiah as two separate and distinct events, just as someone looking at multiple mountain ranges can not see the valleys between them. The mountains ‘appear’ to be close to each other, or one and the same. The prophecy ends when the six things, or events, spoken of in verse 24, have been completed - that is, that Jesus Christ will return at the end of the Seventy “Weeks” or 70 years x 7 years = that is, 490 years.
The timing of the Messiah’s First Coming: Daniel 9:25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler (Messiah the prince), comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens’.”
We deal here only with the promised first coming of the Messiah (the other prophecies will be left to another time). We are told here that ‘the Messiah, the Anointed One’ will come after a total of 7 “weeks” or years of 7 years (49 years) , AND/PLUS 69 “weeks” or years of 7 years, (434 years), making a total of 69 “weeks of 7 years, which is 69 x 7 = 483 years. Again, refer to the chart and focus!
That is all well and good, but where and when do we start counting from? When do the 483 years begin until the Messiah comes?
We are told precisely! Nehemiah 2:1-8 tells us to start counting from the day that Artaxerxes gave the command to rebuild Jerusalem, which was the first of Nisan, in the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign. This corresponds to March 14, 445 BC. It was told that sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years later, the Messiah would come. Using the Jewish calendar year, 360 days/year times 69 years gives us 173,880 days (see diagram). If we add that number to March 14th, 445 BC, we come to April 6th, 32 AD. This calculation has been verified by many sources, including the British Royal Observatory of Greenwich, England.
Jesus’ ministry ended on the eve of Passover. In 32 AD Passover fell on April 11th. April 6th would have been the Sunday we now commonly celebrate as Palm Sunday. This was the very day, April 6th, 32 AD, that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, presenting Himself to the nation of Israel as the Prince of Peace, as their promised Messiah! The Messiah was predicted to come exactly 173,880 days after the command to rebuild Jerusalem! It is important to realize that this prophecy was written about 2500 years ago. The Dead Sea Scrolls say that our Scriptures are reliable and true!
Yes, there were those individuals who believed that Jesus was the Messiah and Savior and cheered His entry into Jerusalem, laying their garments and palm fronds on the ground before Him, shouting, “Hosanna! (Save now!) ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” However, the many, and the nation of Israel rejected Him, and even plotted to kill Him. The voices that Jesus would soon hear would cry, “Crucify him!”
Will you ignore this fulfilled prophecy and reject the Savior? Or, will you know the Scriptures and realize that the Messiah, Jesus, arrived on the very day God said He would come and welcome Him as your Savior? The choice is still yours.
Messiah has come to you! This is your Day! Will you overlook it?!
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