Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
People are quite willing for Jesus to do the things that the angel Gabriel told Daniel He would do: (1) "finish the transgression," (2) "make an end of sins," (3) "make reconciliation for iniquity," and (4) "bring in everlasting righteousness" (all in Dan. 9:24).
What it seems people don't like is that Daniel was saying that God will have a people on earth who do those things! "Let Jesus do it," they say; "we can't, and it's wrong to think we can. Sinning is so deeply ingrained in us that we will keep on until either we die or see Jesus come in the clouds of heaven. Then He will cleanse us from sin. Meanwhile, you keep on sinning. Nobody's perfect!" To think that the Savior can "make an end of sins" in you, can reconcile you fully from sin, can "finish your slavery to transgression," can demonstrate "righteousness" in you--sounds fanatical!
But that's just what the angel said Jesus will accomplish! The Book of Hebrews tells the same Good News: Jesus is "able to save them to the uttermost [perfectly] that come unto God by Him" (7:25), and "is able to succor them that are tempted" (2:18). No, it does not mean that anybody will accomplish it on his own, nor does it mean that these people will be motivated by a self-centered egoism (that would be fanaticism!).
What it means is as simple as a ray of sunlight: God will be honored by a group of people in the end who respond to temptation as Joseph did in Egypt when one lonely day a beautiful young woman tried to entice him into sin with her. Joseph was indeed susceptible for we read that he ran for dear life (you don't do that unless you are tempted!). The Bible says he had caught the same vision that the angel Gabriel gave to Daniel: "How ... can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9). What was in Joseph's mind was not what his family might say, but how could he "crucify to [himself] the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame"? (Heb. 6:6). Joseph was aware of Reality; self was no longer his main concern.
Christ is the Head, but He has a corporate "body," and as a "body" a sizable, visible people on earth will demonstrate that what Christ accomplished will be appreciated by humanity.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 13, 2001.
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