A prophecy in Daniel 9:25 says, “Know ye therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks….”
So, there would be 7 + 62 = 69 prophetic weeks (483 days) from the giving of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the appearing of Jesus Christ as the “Anointed One.” Applying the day-for-a-year principle (Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6), we are looking at 483 literal years from the issuance of the decree to the anointing of Christ and the beginning of His ministry.
There were 3 decrees issued by Persian kings for this purpose. The principal one of these was made during the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7) – in the year 457 B.C. So, adding 483 years to 457 B.C., we come to the year 26 A.D. However, since there is no year zero, we add one year and this brings us to 27 A.D. – the prophesied year of the beginning of the ministry of the Messiah.
Now, since Jesus “began to be about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23) when John the Baptist began his ministry and just before Jesus began His, then Jesus would have been 30 years old in A.D. 27. Going back 30 years from A.D. 27 brings us to the year of Jesus’ birth, 4 B.C. (again, we add 1 year to compensate for no year zero).
Continuing Daniel’s prophecy, “And after [the] threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off…” (verse 26). When, exactly, after the threescore and two weeks shall the Messiah be slain? The next verse tells us that, “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease….”
Since Christ’s sacrifice is the ultimate sacrifice [being the only sacrifice that can pay the penalty of the sins of all humanity], it is Christ’s death that “shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.” So, what the prophecy is saying is that after 3-1/2 prophetic days (“in the midst of the week”), or 3-1/2 literal years of His public ministry – Christ will be slain. Now, If Christ’s ministry began in A.D. 27 then He would have been slain in A.D. 31.
We know that Christ died on Passover Day, the 14th of Nisan because He is our Passover (I Cor. 5:7). In the year 31 A.D., the 14th of Nisan corresponds to April 25 on the Roman calendar, and this day fell on a Wednesday.
Therefore, the date of the crucifixion is Wednesday, April 25, A.D. 31.
Interestingly, Wednesday falls in the middle of the week and Daniel’s prophecy says the Messiah will be “cut off… in the midst of the week.” Most prophecies have a dual meaning and here we find that the Messiah will be slain in the middle of a prophetic week (3-1/2 years) as well as in the middle of a literal week (the 4th day of a seven-day week, or Wednesday).
What do you guys think of this approach to fix the birth and death of Christ? And is there anything wrong with the interpretation of the prophecy?