From Jeremiah, Daniel knew the exile would last seventy years, years that would require faithfulness on his part. Though we think of Daniel as this great man of faith (rightly so, I think), Daniel understood the source of his strength and, so, he tells us, “I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes” (9:3). Daniel confessed his and the nation’s sin but he also knew that with the Lord can be found great mercy: “To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him” (9:8-9).
As Daniel was praying, Gabriel stood before him and declared, “At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision” (9:23). And what was the word to Daniel that would so encourage him? Gabriel pointed him to Messiah, who would come “to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness” (9:24). Daniel’s hope, our hope, always, it is found in Messiah, Jesus!
‘Tis finished! The Messiah dies -
cut off for sins, but not His own;
accomplished is the sacrifice -
the great redeeming work is done.
‘Tis finished! All my guilt and pain,
I want no sacrifice beside;
for me, for me the Lamb is slain,
‘tis finished! I am justified. --Charles Wesley (1762)