Subject: Preparing for Christmas: Evidences for Jesus Christ as God and Savior in the flesh
“Fearless” is a book written to celebrate the life of Adam Brown, a US Navy Seal who died in 2011 while on a mission in Afghanistan. What stood out to those who knew him was his devotion to Jesus Christ as his God and Savior, his source for his unbelievable courage (his favorite Bible verse was Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”). He shared the gospel with all who would listen. He knew that the only answer to the horrors he witnessed was the salvation offered freely at the Cross (once, a fellow Seal said to him, “I don’t understand how you can do what we do and be religious.’ ‘One, I’m spiritual, not religious,’ Adam replied. ‘And two, I can’t believe you can do what we do and not be.’”).
Sir Robert Anderson was another “warrior” for Christ, who like Adam Brown was fearless in sharing. He had a passion for forensic science, and from 1888-1896 he was Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard. Like Adam, he would always point people to God’s demonstrated love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ: “Men point to the sad incidents of human life on earth, and they ask ‘Where is the love of God?’ God points to that Cross as the unreserved manifestation of love so inconceivably infinite as to answer every challenge and silence all doubt forever. And that Cross is not merely the public proof of what God has accomplished; it is the earnest of all that He has promised.”
The passion for Christ that we see in these two men is available to all of us, and it grows as we study His Bible. Over the next five weeks, we’ll try to ignite that passion by examining biblical evidence where Jesus Christ is clearly revealed as God’s promised Messiah who comes in the flesh to die for our sins. The first place we’ll look is Daniel 9:25-26, written around 550BC, that gives the exact date Messiah comes to earth.
In his book “The Coming Prince”, Sir Robert Anderson breaks down Daniel 9:25-26. Using his analysis, let’s see if Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem is on the same date as foretold in Daniel. If not, He isn’t our Savior. If the dates match, Jesus’s claim in John 5:39 is true, that He is our foretold Savior (“You search the Scriptures, because in them you think you have eternal life. But these are they that testify of Me.”)
Daniel 9:25 (“Messiah will arrive 483 years after March 14, 445 BC”) = “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince, there shall be 7 weeks and 62 weeks…“ The Hebrew word for week is ‘shabua’, which means ‘a period of seven.’ Since Daniel talks in years, he says Messiah’s entrance into Jerusalem will be 483 YEARS (69 years x 7) from the date of the command to rebuild Jerusalem, which is found in Nehemiah 2:1-6 (around 430BC, 100 years after Daniel). Using Nehemiah 2, Anderson calculates the exact date of this command as March 14, 445 BC in four steps: (1) Persian King Artaxerses began his reign in 465BC, and gave the command in his 20th year, so 445 BC; (2) It was in the month of Nisan; (3) Jewish custom uses the 1st day of the month when the exact day isn’t given, which for Nisan is the 1st day after the new moon of the Passover, which in 445BC was on March 13, 445 BC. (4) So, the 1st day of Nisan was March 14, 445 BC.
Daniel 9:26 (“Others will kill Messiah 483 years after March 14, 445 BC”) = “And after the 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself…” The Hebrew word for “cut off” is ‘yikaret’, which means a sudden, violent end. “Not for himself” means the Messiah’s life will violently end at the hands of others. This is Jesus’s crucifixion.
The Question: Is the date Jesus enters Jerusalem, just prior to His death, 483 years after the date Artaxerxes commanded Jerusalem be rebuilt? In six steps, Anderson calculates the date Jesus entered Jerusalem just before being arrested and then crucified as April 6, 32AD: (1) Luke 3:1 says Jesus began His ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, or 29 AD (Caesar’s reign began in 14 AD); (2) Jesus died in the 3rd year of His ministry, or 32 AD; (3) John 12:1 says Jesus went to Bethany 6 days before Passover. (4) Passover is always on 14 Nisan, which in 32 AD was Thursday, April 10, 32 AD; (5) 6 days earlier puts us at Friday, April 4, 32 AD; (6) Jesus spent Saturday, April 5 (the Sabbath) with Lazarus at Bethany. (7) John 12:12 says Jesus entered Jerusalem the next day, April 6th, and was crucified the following day.
The Answer: Anderson calculates the exact time between March 14, 445BC and April 6, 32AD as 483 Years, down to the very day, which matches precisely with Daniel 9:24-25.
Now Jesus could arrange to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey on the exact day and fulfill Zechariah 9:9, but it would be impossible for Him to arrange His own execution as well. You decide. Check the historical records. Only Jesus meets the requirements of Daniel. No wonder men like Adam Brown and Robert Anderson willingly surrendered their lives to Him as their Lord and Savior.