Isaiah 9:6-7 summarizes the full ministry of the Messiah. The first part of the prophecy covers Jesus’ first coming. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…”. The second part of the prophecy covers Jesus’ second coming. “…and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase [greatness] of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Ephesians 1 goes into more detail. Verse 9 tells us that having made known to us the mystery of His will through the Scriptures, according to God’s good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, in the fullness of the times God would bring forth the Son to “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” All things. Old and New Covenant, Jew and Gentile alike, the heavenly hosts and His heavenly government.
When Jesus openly declared the purpose of His ministry in His home synagogue, He quoted from the prophet Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” (Luke 4:18). Then He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.
Through the miracles, signs, and wonders that Jesus performed during His 3½-year earthly ministry, He certainly fulfilled all those objectives. Of course, at the time, His followers had a different idea of what being set free from oppression entailed. They might have wondered at the reference to the acceptable year of the Lord, which is the Jubilee year that comes every 50 years because it wasn’t the specified time. But Jesus was describing a release from debt and a restoration of another sort—the debt of sin and a reborn spirit reconnected to God.
Strangely, though, Jesus stopped mid-sentence in quoting Isaiah 61:1-3. The rest of the sentence continues, “…and the Day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
His listeners must have wondered why Jesus would not bring vengeance against evil, as well as the rest of the promised glory. The reason had to do with the second half of the Messiah’s ministry as quoted in Isaiah 9. That is, the never-ending Kingdom. What the listeners didn’t understand from the 70 Weeks Prophecy in Daniel 9 is that the divine to-do-list would entail two separate comings. God’s Day of Vengeance against evil would not happen until Christ would return at the start of the last Day in God’s prophetic great Week to complete the to-do list.
The Chronos Lesson: The Messiah’s anointing for ministry at His baptism when He was 30 years old marked the pivotal point in the mystery-plan: separating the early Days from the latter Days. When counting from Adam, the early Days were Days 1, 2, 3, and 4; the latter Days would be Days 5, 6, and 7. Jesus’s baptism happened exactly 4,000 years after Creation, equaling four great Days.
His ministry would cover the first 3½ years of the 5th Day. His Body, the Church, would continue His earthly ministry for two Days, Days 5 and 6. We are now closing in on the end of the 6th Day. Scripture calls it the end of this age—the end of the Church Age.
In Luke 13:32-33, Jesus offered His own prophecy concerning the latter Days. It is one of those passages where using 24-hour days doesn’t make sense. Such regular days don’t fit Jesus’ description of the timing. So we know He was referring to God’s great 1,000-year Days. “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures Today and Tomorrow, and the Third Day I shall be perfected.’ Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.”
The first part of the prophecy—Today and Tomorrow—covers the earthly ministry of the Head and His Body, the Church. On the 3rd Day He shall be perfected. That is, He shall be completed, when the Head and the Body are together in Heaven. That happens when His Body, His Bride, is resurrected at the rapture, at the start of the 3rd Day.
Today, Tomorrow, and the Third Day Perfection coincide with the last half of the prophetic great Week. The only difference is that these Day focus on the New Covenant, so they count the Days starting with Jesus’ baptism and anointing for ministry.
At His first coming, Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. The word gospel means “good news.” Luke 16:16-17 records Jesus setting the record straight. “The law and the prophets were until John [the Baptizer]. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for Heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail.” In other words, Jesus’ life would perfectly fulfill every aspect of the Law. The good news is that it would be fulfilled on behalf of all of mankind.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
This is the essence of Jesus’ message: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The Seed prophesied way back in Genesis 3 had not only been planted, but it had also sprouted and was producing fruit!