There is a limitation of forgiveness according to the plan of God. As soldiers deployed in the field are all too aware, national and universal events can quickly overrun and preclude personal considerations about making things right with our neighbors and family, and with God.
We are taught by the prophets an offense against a person was also an offense against the community and against God. The community took upon itself the offender's guilt and suffered the corporate consequences. This is the negative aspect of Solidarity; the positive aspect is the resolution of the legal guilt.
In the Bible is the notion of the accumulation and transfer of legal guilt, which was transacted through the Sanctuary service with its system of priests and sacrifices. Guilt was finally resolved on the Day of Atonement.
The Sanctuary was an object lesson of salvation. The Sanctuary was the precursor of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the Sanctuary/Temple system we find Dual Messiahs*.
I will also support a claim for Dual Messiahs by proof from prophecy, but first we ought to review some basic elements of the Jewish sacrificial system.
The Jewish sacrificial system is essentially the Gospel according to Moses.
The plan of salvation has a distinct order foreshadowed by types in the Jewish Temple services and festivals. A type is a symbol or sign. The thing or event a type anticipates is called an antitype. The study of types and anti-types is called typology. Jesus Christ is the object of many of these biblical types, such as lamb and light.
The Temple service foreshadows the true plan of salvation. It is important to become acquainted with this teaching in order to grasp an accurate and complete meaning of salvation. The Temple had two compartments, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
Jesus fulfilled the part of the Temple service dedicated to the sacrifice of the lamb. Its blood was administered inside the Holy Place, the first of the two compartments. This service was known as the daily because it was repeated every day of the year.
The part of the service dedicated to the once-yearly Day of Atonement was more solemn than the daily service. The High Priest officiated. He entered the Most Holy Place, which contained the visible presence of God residing over the Ark of the Covenant.
The events of the Day of Atonement foreshadow the work of the second messiah, who is typified by a goat, not a lamb. Jesus Christ was typified by a lamb in connection with the daily sacrifice.
The act of sacrifice in the Jewish sacrificial system lacked merit in itself. The lamb or goat was the symbol of a coming redeemer. By offering the sacrifice, one exercised faith in a future messiah.
The festivals associated with the sacrifices have their own meaning, local and universal, according to the system of types and antitypes.
Neither the work of Jesus Christ nor the work of the Antichrist is all-sufficient by itself. The two messiahs must act in concert in order to complete the plan of salvation.
70 WEEKS PROPHECY
The 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 validates Jesus Christ; the timing of His appearance, covenant ministry, and sacrificial death. According to standard principles of interpretation, the 70 weeks correspond to 70 times 7 (weeks) of years for a total of 490 prophetic years.
The beginning point for this 490-year period is identified in verse 25 as the year of the decree to restore Jerusalem. This decree was issued by Persia following the defeat of Babylon.
The 70 Weeks Prophecy validates Jesus Christ in all respects, with one exception. This exception has become the source of division between the different schools of prophetic interpretation.
Verse 27 stipulates, "[H]e shall confirm the covenant for one week". This phrase brings us to the point of controversy and a climactic transitional phase in the history of salvation.
One school applies the phrase entirely to Jesus Christ, while the other school applies it entirely to the Antichrist.
I propose a third interpretation; i.e., verse 27 pertains to the complementary work of Dual Messiahs. A redemption process involving two messiahs resolves all controversy regarding this passage.
"In the midst of the week" means mid-week, or 3 and ½ years into the last week of the 70 prophetic weeks. Jesus "caused the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" when He died on Calvary as the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
According to Daniel, the messiah would "confirm the covenant with many for one week [of 7 prophetic years]". However because of His death, Jesus confirmed the covenant for only half the required time, or 3 and ½ years of the last week of the 70 prophetic weeks.
The prophecy requires a period of 7 full prophetic years for the work of confirming the covenant with the Jews. This creates a major problem for supporters of Jesus Christ.
The interruption in the middle of the 7 years is resolved by the complementary work of a second messiah. The Antichrist confirms the covenant with the Jews for the remaining 3 and ½ years of the last week of the 70 prophetic weeks.
The genuine Antichrist will complement the work of Jesus Christ. He will not deny Jesus Christ. The Antichrist will reaffirm the teachings of Jesus Christ. The prophetic postponement in Daniel 9:27 is resolved by the Antichrist.
The 70 Weeks Prophecy with its anticipation of Dual Messiahs represents a second chance for national Israel.
The prophecy also foreshadows the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem, when Jews and Gentiles are fully reconciled to God the Father in association with the events prefigured by the anti-typical Day of Atonement.
In the Temple, the Father is depicted as residing through His visible presence in the Most Holy Place above the Ark of the Covenant. By offering Himself, Jesus His Son elevated humanity and led all people into the first compartment of the Temple, the Holy Place. Jesus DID NOT achieve their right to enter into the very presence of God in the Most Holy Place.
According to Hebrews, Jesus is our anti-typical High Priest. He will NOT offer His own blood a second time when He enters the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. The anti-typical Antichrist will be the scapegoat of Leviticus 16.
It was against this backdrop Jesus instructed his disciples in Matthew 18:22 to forgive "seventy times seven".
*QUESTION: What do you mean by Dual Messiahs?
ANSWER: "Messiah" is the Hebrew term for the ultimate national savior. It means "anointed" because God endows a human being with the Holy Spirit and thus the supernatural powers to accomplish his mission.
"Christ" is the Greek equivalent of "messiah". When Christianity spread to non-Jews, the significance of the messiah became less national and more universal.
"Dual" means two.
Jesus Christ is the first of the Dual Messiahs. The second messiah is properly known as the Antichrist.
Unfortunately, the Antichrist in popular thought is construed as an impostor messiah because of the prefix "anti-", which as used in its first-century context has two meanings: 1) opposed to; or 2) in place of (but not necessarily opposed to).
The genuine Antichrist is a messiah "in place of" Jesus Christ during His absence on earth; however, there are false messiahs known as "antichrists" who are "opposed to" Jesus Christ.