25 Days of Christmas Prophecies

Day 24 – Fullness of Time

“Seventy ‘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 Place. “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the Ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”

– DANIEL 9:24-25 NIV –

In today’s prophecy, God gives Daniel a word problem (stay with me because this is worth it!).  The Hebrew literally says “70 periods of 7’s are degreed” (in this case, 490 years).  God also specifies before the “Anointed One, the Ruler comes,” there will be 7 periods of 7’s and 62 periods of 7’s (with the 70th period of 7 reserved for the Second Coming).

7 periods of 7’s = 49 years
62 periods of 7’s = 434 years

If you add these together, you get 69 periods of 7’s or 483 years.  Why is this significant?

The angel Gabriel, who delivers this prophecy to Daniel, tells us to “know and understand this: from the time the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the Ruler comes,” there will be exactly 483 years.  Still not convinced?

Let’s remember Daniel (and Israel) are in Babylonian captivity when he is given this prophecy where they remained 70 years.  Meanwhile, the temple in Jerusalem was in ruins and the wall around the city was completely torn down.  But in this place of doubt and despair, Gabriel says to know this: the Anointed One – the Messiah is coming, and this is His mission:

– 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 Place

But back to our math problem. In 444 B.C., King Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah permission to rebuild Jerusalem beginning with its wall.  Here’s the key: unlike our solar calendar where a year is 365 days, the ancient Jews used a lunar calendar that only had 360 days.

Accounting for this, 483 years on their lunar calendar is only 476 years on our solar calendar (483 years x 360 days in a lunar year = 173,880 days divided by 365 days in a solar year = 476 years).

Now, do the math: starting at 444 B.C., move forward in time 476 years and see where you end up – right around 32-33 A.D.!

And then Gabriel makes a shocking statement to Daniel: “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary…” (Daniel 9:26).

Was not the Anointed One – the Messiah – Jesus “put to death” on the Cross in 33 A.D.?!  And was not the city of Jerusalem and the temple completely destroyed in 70 A.D. by Rome?!  Woah.

You might be wondering why this prophecy on Christmas Eve? Because God was quite specific about when Messiah would come and what He would accomplish.  Paul put it this way:

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons and daughters. (Galatians 4:4-5 NASB).

The Greeks primarily used that word “fullness” when a ship had been fully loaded, filled with its freight, merchandise, sailors, oarsmen and passengers, and was ready to sail.

At just the right time, when God’s ship of eternal destiny was fully loaded with just the right people and kings and rulers and culture and parents and an infinite number of other details, God sent His Son – the Anointed One – the Messiah into this world on a divine mission only He could accomplish.

And so, in “the fullness of time,” Jesus stepped down from heaven on Christmas clothed in flesh as prophecy and history came together in perfect alignment.