Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Dan 9:24 (KJV)
Reconciliation for Iniquity
Continuing in a look at the seventy weeks of Daniel, we now consider the phrase "to make reconciliation for iniquity." The question before us is "has God made reconciliation for iniquity?" First of all, we must remember the context of Daniel 9. As in our previous studies, we see that the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 is not some general or arbitrary prophecy given to Daniel about the entire planet earth or all of humanity, but is limited in its context to "thy people and upon thy holy city". So without question, we have to approach this prophecy from the perspective of Daniel's people, the Jewish nation, and Daniel's city, Jerusalem.
Let's briefly look at a few of the other prophets. It is not hard to show that Israel was a nation full of iniquity.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Isaiah 1:4 (KJV)
5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
Jer 2:5 (KJV)
22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
Jer 2:22 (KJV)
14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. 15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
Jer 30:14-15 (KJV)
It could be argued that the main theme of Jeremiah's prophecy was Judah's iniquity, as this tenet appears over and over again. It is a main theme of all the prophets. As bad as Israel's predicament was, there were also many promises of reconciliation or healing from their iniquity.
1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.
Isaiah 40:1-2 (KJV)
These promises of reconciliation and healing would only be accomplished through the promised Messiah.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:5-6 (KJV)
Only the Messiah, the One who would be bruised, who would be chastised, could make reconciliation for Israel and Judah's iniquity. It's not my intent here to go over every Old Testament passage, which shows Israel's iniquity and their promise of reconciliation through the Messiah, although they are plentiful. But I would like to expand briefly on the idea of what "reconciliation" is and look at one passage from the Psalms.
Making reconciliation for iniquity is somewhat similar to making an end of sins. Reconciliation goes a step further. It carries the connotation of atonement, or the purging of sins, which makes it possible to have a right relationship (or fellowship) with God. The word here in Daniel 9:24 for reconciliation (kaw-far') is mainly translated as "atonement" in the Old Testament. In a previous study, we saw that Jesus Christ made an end of sins in the first century for God's people who believed in Him. We will now attempt to answer the question: Did Jesus Christ make reconciliation for iniquity and reconcile God's covenant people back to Himself?
In the Old Testament, we have examples of God making atonement for the covenant people and forgiving iniquity. We see this throughout the giving of the law, how God would atone for their iniquity. Psalm 78 recounts Israel's history and how in the face of God's continual blessings the people rebelled and increased their iniquities. Yet God chose to be merciful to His covenant people:
Psalms 78:38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
The word here for "forgave" is the same word (kaw-far'). God continually forgave Israel's iniquities, not on the basis of what they had done, but because of His good pleasure and mercies. The problem was that this forgiveness was not permanent. Israel was still under the weight of God's law that perpetually accused them, and they could not keep it. They needed permanent forgiveness. They needed reconciliation. This reconciliation would come through faith in the promised Messiah.
Isaiah 57:17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
I can’t help but comment on this beautiful passage in Isaiah. God has seen our ways. He knows we are an evil people, yet He has chosen to heal us. And not only heal us but also lead us, restore us, and comfort those that mourn. This is the personification of grace.
Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
I believe these to be prophecies of the coming Messiah. Does the New Testament give us clues that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and the One who would make reconciliation for iniquity?
Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Through Christ the Messiah, there were reconciled to God.
2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
God, through Christ, was reconciling Israel to Himself. The New Testament tells us that the true Israel was all those, Jew and Gentile, who had faith in Jesus Christ.
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Romans 2:28-29 (KJV)
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Gal 3:6-9 (KJV)
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Romans 9:8 (KJV)
God was reconciling the world (both Jew and Gentile) to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:14-16 (KJV)
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Col 1:21-22 (KJV)
If we are unblameable and unreproveable in His sight, then our iniquities are gone. God does not dwell with iniquity, yet he dwells with us, those who have put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and not their own works of righteousness.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:17 (KJV)
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Titus 2:13-14 (KJV)
In conclusion, I see much evidence in the Old and New Testaments that Christ the Messiah made reconciliation for inquity in fulfillment of Daniel 9:24 . Many Christians today believe that God has not reconciled Israel back to Himself, but I believe He has. He completed this work in the first century. What work does Christ have left to do? If we are holy and without blame before him in love, what else could we be waiting for? Praise God that He faithfully fulfilled His word and that Christ is the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecy, including Daniel's seventy weeks.
April 14, 2009