So many prophecies of the Old Testament prophets of Israel were fulfilled during the life of Jesus that multi-volume books have been written to describe them. This blog will not be one of them. But here’s a look at how Daniel and the gospels prove the incredible historicity and homogeny of scripture.
Daniel was instructed that “70 weeks” had been determined upon the Israelites for judgment totaling 490 years. Daniel said that these years would commence with the command to rebuild Jerusalem including the wall. He also showed that it would be 483 years into the 490 years of judgement when the Messiah would be “cut off” for the people. So, there it is. 483 years after the command to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Jesus was to be “cut off” in Jerusalem. How can we tell if that happened or not?
When did the command to rebuild the walls happen? Nehemiah chapter two tells us that it was in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes that Nehemiah was appointed Governor of Judea and commissioned to rebuild the walls of the ancient capital of David. Artaxerxes the King became co-regent with his father in 474 B.C.. So the twentieth year of his reign was in 454 B.C. In April.
Since the Gregorian Calendar does not have a year 0, and the calendar year First Year B.C. Is followed by One A.D. We must add one year back to get to the year that Jesus died. So, 454 minus 483 equals 29 plus one gets us to 30 A.D.. Could Jesus have been the right age to have died in 30 A.D.?
Yes, Jesus was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus who reigned for forty years from 27 B.C. To 14 A.D.. Luke 3 tells us that the beginning of John the Baptist’ ministry and then of Jesus began in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius. It’s easy to assume that this then was the year 29 B.C. since Augustus had died in the year 14. But Tiberius had already been reigning as “Princeps” since the death of Agrippa in the year 12. Which means that the fifteenth year of his “reign” was actually A.D. 26. (Not that he had been reigning for fifteen years and was in the sixteenth year, but rather that he was in the fifteenth year and had therefore ruled for a total of 14 full years.)
Luke chapter three also tells us that in that year when John Baptized Jesus that Jesus began to be about thirty years old in A.D. 26 when John Baptized him. 26 A.D. Minus “about thirty years” takes us back to late 5 B.C. To early 4 B.C. For the birth of Christ. Which is a topic for another day. If Jesus began his ministry in 26 B.C. And John records three, possibly four passovers total including the one on which he died, then Jesus died in 30 A.D. at 33 years old.
Passover was on Wednesday, in 30 A.D. Which means it was also the Preparation Day for the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread on Thursday. Which is why the Gospels all say Jesus died on the day of “the preparation” of the Sabbath. Jesus was laid in the tomb before Sundown. He prophesied that he would spend three days and three nights in the Tomb. The tomb was found already empty very early in the morning “before the breaking of day” according to the gospels. Ergo, Jesus did not spend all of Saturday night in the tomb. Wednesday night, Thursday Day, Thursday Night, Friday Day, Friday Night, Saturday Day. In Israel the new day begins at Sundown. On Saturday evening when the sun set, the First Day of the Week began.
Somewhere between Sundown and Sunrise on the First Day of the Week, Jesus rose from the Dead and he had already been in the tomb for three full days and three full nights, just as he had foretold. Daniel’s prophecy that he would die 483 years after the command to rebuild the walls was fulfilled down to the very month. God is always right on Time!!