Righteousness

October 2, 2020

Daniel 9:24–27

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.

25Know 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.

26And 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.

27And 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.”

The fourth event Gabriel predicts is “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” As we have said before, the first three had to do with the negative, the effects and remedy for sin. But with this event we begin to see some things that we might not have expected God to do. These are incredibly positive affirmations of the love God has for us.

The phrase “to bring in” literally means “to cause to happen.” God will cause to happen an age of righteousness that will never end. Of course, we understand this age to begin with the millennial reign of Jesus Christ but is it even more detailed than that? I believe this age of righteousness began on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was sent and we , as believers were sealed and placed into Christ. Here is a verse from the Amplified Bible which shows the fourfold nature of God’s plan of salvation:

1 Corinthians 1:30

But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin]

Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. God brings all these things into being through his son Jesus Christ.

We live in what could be called a transitory time period in God’s plan. It is called the age of the gentiles or the church age. It is a time period where God has set aside the promises he has made to Israel as a nation to be fulfilled at a time in the future. But now he has turned his attention to the salvation of as many people who will turn to the savior Jesus Christ. He is building his church, made up of both Jews and gentiles, rich and poor, free and slave… people of every nation and this will continue until Christ returns.

We have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, but God has given us something unexpected as well. He has given us the righteousness of Christ, it has been imputed to us, an accounting term meaning “credited to our account.” We are not just forgiven, we are righteous before God.

This is an eternal righteousness and cannot be lost. We are living in an age of righteousness that will continue forever. This is what Gabriel declares, this is what Christ has accomplished… we are NOW the sons of God through faith.



Atonement

October 1, 2020

Daniel 9:24–27

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.

25Know 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.

26And 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.

27And 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.”

The third thing Gabriel announces is “to atone for iniquity.”

The writer of Hebrews explains why Jesus had to be born a Jew: It has to do with the ability to make atonement.

Hebrews 2:17

For this reason he [Christ] had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

The picture displayed by the High priest on the day of atonement was more than simple procedure and ritual. It was informational. It was a picture of what the messiah (Jesus) would accomplish… once and for all time. The lamb of God, the lamb without blemish would be inspected outside in the courtyard by the priests. If found worthy it was handed over to the high priest and was to be slain on the alter outside in the courtyard.

Like the Passover lamb, this blood was shed in order to be applied. In Egypt the blood was applied to the door post and lintel of each residence so that the penalty for sin (brought by the death angel) would “pass over” the people within the house. God would see the blood and the blood would ‘cover” their sin.  

The word atonement means to cover. We are being told by Gabriel that this atonement will one day be completed, once and for all. Two thousand years ago Jesus was examined by the priests in a trial outside the sanctuary. Remember, Jesus asked them “who convicts me of sin?” He was perfect, the spotless lamb. He was put to death outside the city, for everyone to see. His blood was shed and his side pierced. He was the lamb slain for the sins of the whole world.

Hebrews 10:11-14

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.



An End to Sin

September 30, 2020 

Daniel 9:24–27

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. 

25Know 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. 

26And 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. 

27And 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.” 

The second of the six things that will come to pass is that God will put an end to sin. The Greek verb translated “put an end” has to do with sealing up sin with a view towards punishment. We might think of the word incarcerated, to be placed in custody waiting for punishment.   

In Job 14 the same word is translated sealed in verse 17. I think the context here makes it clear what is being discussed: 

Job 14:14-17

14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait,

till my renewal should come. 15 You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands. 16 For then you would number my steps; you would not keep watch over my sin; 17my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity. 

Job looked for a time when his transgression (his sin) would be sealed up in something other than in himself. It would be sealed in a “bound up container” as in a “safe place” where treasure was hidden. And because his sin would be hidden, God would “cover over” his iniquity. 

Both Job and Daniel were looking forward to the messiah who would put an end to sin. What they did not understand was the way in which this would happen. Jesus came the first time as a sacrifice for sin. He took our sin upon himself and was cut off from the living. 

He will come again to judge the wicked, but because he died in our place, because our sin was “sealed up in him” we have peace with God and forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Last Sunday at sunset began Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. It is the holiest day of the year for Israel and the Jewish people. It begins a new year and in ancient Israel it was marked by the blood sacrifice of a lamb. The blood was sprinkled by the high priest on the mercy seat over the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies. It was done once a year on the day of atonement to cover the sins of Israel for the coming year. 

Today there is no temple, no holy place, no high priest and no blood sacrifice. Those things were done away with at the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The judgement upon Israel for the rejection of Jesus will run its course. But there remains a sacrifice for sin. Jesus Christ “sealed up” the sin of the world, including Israel’s sin, and made an atonement for sin. God looked at his death, his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. 

On the cross Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” Jesus brought an end to sin.




Daily Devotions 2020