Daniel 9:25-27; Messiah Cut Off ~ 20220904 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
09/04_Daniel 09:25-27; Messiah Cut Off; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20220904_dan09_25-27.mp3
Daniel is praying. He perceived in the scrolls the number of years according to the word of YHWH to Jeremiah that must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem would be seventy years. Daniel himself is nearing 70 years in Babylon, and Babylon has fallent to the Medes and the Persians. So Daniel is praying and confessing his sins and the sins of his people that brought upon them God’s discipline. He is asking that God act according to his character, to both manintain his perfect righteousness, and to extend mercy and forgiveness to sinners who don’t deserve it. He is imploring God to defend the honor of his great name which is being slandered among the nations.
70 Years in Jeremiah
The passages in Jeremiah that deal with this 70 year captivity are Jeremiah 25 and 29. In the first year of Nebuchadnezzar (605 BC),
Jeremiah 25:2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 3 “For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. 4 You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, 5 saying, ‘Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. 6 Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.’ 7 Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. 8 “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. ...11 This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.
Judgment is prophesied on rebellious Judah, but even with the promise of punishment comes a promise that it is for a set period of time.
Promises of Jeremiah 29-31
Jeremiah 29 is actually a transcript of a letter Jeremiah sent to the captives in Babylon after the main deportation 8 years later in 597 BC. Jeremiah encouraged the captives to
Jeremiah 29:7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. ...10 “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
The Lord is so gracious! Even in captivity, he will bless his people. And the Lord will be faithful to his promises. God will ensure that his people will call upon him and pray to him and seek him, and he will gather them back to the land. This is what Daniel is doing.
Coming Davidic King
If we keep reading in Jeremiah, we see more of the context that Daniel had in mind in his prayer. Jeremiah 30 says:
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. 8 “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. ... 18 “Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be. 19 Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those who celebrate. I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be small. 20 Their children shall be as they were of old, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all who oppress them. 21 Their prince shall be one of themselves; their ruler shall come out from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? declares the LORD. 22 And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
God will punish his people. But not only will the Lord save them from their trouble, not only will the city and the palace be rebuilt, but God will raise up their king David, a prince, a ruler from their midst who will have the face of the Lord. This coming Davidic king would certainly be part of Daniel’s eager anticipation.
Jeremiah 31 goes on to speak of a new covenant that God will make with Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 ... for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Daniel was boldly confessing the sins of his people and seeking mercy from the Lord, because the Lord had already promised not only to forgive their iniquity and remember their sins no more, but also to bring change at a heart level, to give his people new hearts so they would no longer go astray.
Circumcised Heart to Love God
All the way back in Deuteronomy when God promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience, he said
Deuteronomy 30:1 “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, 2 and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. 5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. 6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. 7 And the LORD your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey the voice of the LORD and keep all his commandments that I command you today.
God will change the hearts of his people so that they love him and find life.
This is some of the biblical background that helps us understand the message Gabriel gave to Daniel when he interrupted his prayer.
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city,
Daniel is asking if the 70 years of Jeremiah are about to come to a close, and he is told that seventy weeks, or seventy times seven years are decreed by God about the Jews and Jerusalem. In these coming 490 years God promises to do some amazing things. Six things, three negative and three positive;
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
God will finally and forever put an end to sin. He will make his people irrevocably righteous. He will bring perfect fulfillment to all the visions and prophecies. He will anoint a most holy place. All these things he will do for his people and his holy city.
The message continues with a more specific breakdown of the seventy sevens. The seventy sevens are broken down into the first seven sevens, then sixty-two sevens (which together make 69 sevens, or 483 years) and then one final climactic seven.
Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Better Than What He Asked
We are going to put off the nitty gritty details of the breakdown of the dates and disagreements over what the numbers mean until later. Today I just want to look at the broad sweep of what God promises to accomplish in these 490 years. God has promised to end sin, bring in righteousness, seal vision and prophet, and anoint a most holy place. This sounds like an answer to Daniel’s prayer bigger than he imagined. Not only is God going to once for all finally and forever finish, put away, atone for iniquity, transgression and sin, he is going to bring in everlasting righteousness, he is going to put his stamp of approval on all vision and prophecy by fulfilling them, and he is going to make his face shine on his sanctuary. How? How is God intending to accomplish all this?
Messiah The Prince
This prophecy points to the coming of an anointed one, a prince. Both kings and priests were anointed for their service. The word for ‘anointed one’ is the Hebrew word ‘Messiah’. The coming of one who is both ruler and priest was anticipated. The Messiah was to be one who would rule his people with justice and righteousness, but he was also the one who would make atonement for their sins. This prophecy given to Daniel predicts the coming of this anointed one. This is the focal point of all of history!
Daniel is in captivity, longing for the return of God’s people to a place of honor. Their coming Messiah king was expected to finally crush all enemies of God’s people, so that all nations would come and pay homage to him in Jerusalem. Psalm 2 speaks of YHWH and his anointed, his begotten Son who will inherit the nations to the ends of the earth and rule them with a rod of iron. But Daniel’s prophecy says that even the first 49 years during which the city will be rebuilt will be filled with trouble, and after the 483 years, this Anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. How can this be? In the final week, the most holy place then anointed will be desecrated, one is coming who will destroy both city and sanctuary, put an end to sacrifice and offering, and make desolate with abominations. God will triumph in the end; the decreed end will be poured out on the one who makes desolate.
This could not be the picture Daniel was hoping for. This is both better than he could have asked, and more terrible than he could have imagined. Sin will be done away, but in an unexpectedly messy painful way. The long awaited Messiah will come, but then he will be cut off and have nothing. The sanctuary will be anointed, but then it will be desecrated. This sounds more bad than good.
If it were not decreed by God himself, it would seem that his plan had gone terribly wrong as it began to unfold. He set out to do these good things, but his plans were thwarted and derailed. But this is precisely how he intended to deal with our sins. His only Son, his Anointed one would come, and would be cut off.
This sounds much like Jesus’ parable in Mark 12
Mark 12:1 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
This all sounds tragic and terrible like the whole plan is falling apart. But Jesus goes on to say:
Mark 12:10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
It seems like everything had gone wrong, but ‘this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Messiah Jesus was cut off from the land of the living. He was stripped naked, soldiers gambled for his last stitch of clothing. He was buried in a borrowed tomb. His followers scattered and fled. He had nothing. And this was all the Lord’s doing. This is how Messiah Jesus atoned for sin. He took it on himself and it was nailed to his cross. Philippians 2 tells us
Philippians 2:7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
2 Corinthians 8 says:
2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
He became poor, he became nothing for my sake. To put an end to my sin, to give me his righteousness. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!
2022.09.04 Sermon Notes
Daniel 9:25-27; Messiah Cut Off
Jeremiah’s Seventy years captivity
Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10
Not seventy years but seventy times seven to end sin and bring righteousness
Promises of Jeremiah
Jeremiah 29:13 you will seek me and find me
Jeremiah 30:9, 21; Prince and Ruler shall come from them
Jeremiah 31:31-34; new covenant written on hearts
Promise of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy 30:6; heart circumcised to love God
Messiah the Prince is coming!
Messiah cut off? Has the plan gone wrong?
2 Corinthians 8:9
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org