Summary: Are you ready for the big day, the coundown to God promise being fulfilled in our lives. you can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
Getting Ready for the Big Day. Part 2: The Countdown
So 12 days to go till the Big Day. The commercial count down to this Christmas began on Boxing Day last year. Because of the countdown to the Big Day, people may have already asked you, “are you ready for Christmas yet?”
What they mean is: Have you got your tree up? Have got the gifts wrapped? Have you got the food and drink in? I am sure many of you will, like me, get to the Big Day and say, “I forgot the cranberry jelly!” Or even, “I forgot to get Lizzie a present!”
You most likely know that many of the traditions we practice around Christmas have pagan roots: the date, the giving of gifts, the tree- all have pagan roots. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas)
So why do we do them? Well, because one smart Christian, over 300 years after the birth of Jesus, decided to adapt these pagan activities and give them a Christian significance. This made the transition from paganism to christianity easier for new converts.
However, I am sure you will agree that these and other activities surrounding the celebration of Jesus’ birth, have taken pre-eminences over the actual reason for the celebration in the first place.
I believe that, because people are so caught up in the countdown, they miscalculate what it’s all about. People are so tired getting ready for the Big Day that it passes them by and so they miss the real message of the Big Day.
There was a literal countdown to the birth of Jesus and most people still missed it.
God’s Literal Countdown
In Daniel 9:23-27 God revealed that a Saviour was coming who would (1) finish transgression; (2) put an end to sin; (3) atone for wickedness; (4) bring in everlasting righteousness; (5) seal up vision and prophecy; (6) and anoint the most holy.
I don’t want to spend time doing mathematical equations in relation to the 70 sevens and what they mean. What I do want to do is show you that God began a precise prophetic countdown to the arrival of Jesus. It was unusual that God gave a time scale to the fulfilment of prophecy but on this occasion He did. The following illustrates how God revealed to Daniel the timing of Jesus’ arrival:
“Early in the Twentieth Century, respected British attorney, historian, and scientist, Sir Robert Anderson, the head of Scotland Yard, converted these dates. He determined from Nisan (April) of 444 B.C. until April of 33 A.D. was exactly 173,880 days (483 years x 360 days)! He took into account the difference between the Jewish calendar and our calendar; he also factored in the differential between the Julian and the Gregorian calendars, added days for leap years, and he came up with exactly 483 years! “What then was the length of the period intervening between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the public advent of ‘Messiah the Prince?’ The interval contained exactly and the very day 173,880 days or seven times sixty-nine prophetic years of 360 days, the first 69 weeks of Gabriel’s prophecy.”(Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince p. 124ff.)