Daily Devotion | Day 363
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, NKJV).
Yesterday we discussed how God made an end of sins through the Cross of Christ. Today we will look at the part of Daniel’s prophecy that says the time of the Messiah would be a time “to finish the transgression.” We are at a critical juncture in our discussion, so let us pay extra attention to the issues we will be addressing from this time till the end of the series. To transgress means to break God’s law. Transgression describes an action, the action of breaking God’s law. The Bible says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV).
According to Daniel, there would be a cessation of transgression because of the Messiah’s work. At first glance, we might be tempted to think that transgression would be finished only after we die or when Christ returns. We will soon find out that it is not the case. After death, what is done is done; there would be no room to transgress God’s law. Hence, cessation of transgression applies only to our time in this world. In the Father’s plan of salvation, the cessation of transgression is part and parcel of manifesting the born gain life.
How does the cessation of transgression work? The Scriptures, especially the New Testament, tell us how. Let us recall the passage where Jesus demanded self-denial from all who desire to follow Him (Matthew 16:24-25). We talked about it in Part 10 of the series “Why Do Christians Continue to Sin?” Self-denial is not a pleasant experience, at least not at the beginning. Like cases of addiction, self-denial might cause initial withdrawal symptoms. But Jesus needs that from us for the cessation of transgression to take effect. Cessation of transgression does not happen mechanically or magically. It works only when believers obey Jesus’ command to deny themselves and crucify their flesh.
Obedience to Jesus is necessary for salvation. Salvation is the free gift of God, but Jesus does not impose the gift on us. Therefore, He cannot save us if we disobey His word. If we resist Him, we are refusing His salvation. In case anyone has doubts about this, the Bible says, “And having been perfected, He [Jesus] became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus taught us concrete ways to express self-denial and die to sin. In no uncertain terms, He said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. . . And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29-30).
Do not take the above-quoted Scripture as a pretext to harm your body. God willing, tomorrow we will discuss the passage and determine its relevance for believers within the context of Jesus’ death on the Cross. Until then, let your light shine that all may see and give glory to your Father in heaven. Amen.
For further study: Hebrews 10:1-31