Mat 24:15 "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),” This is Jesus’ warning about the abomination that makes desolate. He makes an interesting statement. He says, let the reader understand... which calls the readers... Matthew’s original audience (not us today), to realize that they must understand the prophecy of Daniel.
So the question that I would like to ask is this; does the abomination of desolation have to be one event or, could it be a series of events that begins with abomination and ends in desolation? Further, could Matthew 24:15 find its fulfillment in the time frame of the original audience of Matthews’s gospel? I think that the answer to both questions is a resounding yes indeed!
In order to see this more clearly it is necessary to look at a bible timeline. The bible timeline will show very clearly that God’s intervention into the timeline comes in very short bursts of activity relatively speaking. That is, when one looks at the time line in terms of thousands of years the activity takes place in a relatively short time. For example all of the Prophets prophesied in a time period that began in approximately 765BC and ended in 433BC which is a period of roughly 330 years. All of the prophecies for the day of the Lord came within this period.
According to Maccabees, (1Macc 1:57), Antiochus Epiphanes set up the abomination of desolation in the temple in 167BC. Then, history teaches us that Titus of Rome desolated the temple in 70AD. In other words, the prophecies of the 330 year period were completely fulfilled in a 237 year period from Antiochus to Titus; Antiochus was the abominator and Titus was the desolator. Daniel puts it this way: “And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." On the wing of abominations suggest that it is a prolonged period of time. There were indeed many abominations to the temple over this time period
This is no doubt why Jesus said let the reader understand. It was not going to be as obvious as the verbiage would suggest. No, it would take understanding on the part of the reader.... that is... the intended reader of Matthew’s gospel. This means it was targeted specifically to the Jewish believers. This explains why it is only found in Matthew’s account of the little apocalypse. It would only be understandable to the Jewish community that was expecting the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in their time. It was to the group of Jewish believers that accepted Jesus as the Messiah and were fully aware of the time table of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy.... that were expecting the end of the age and the age to come imminently. We have shown time after time on this blog that the imminent expectation of the fulfillment of all prophecy is everywhere in every book of the New Testament.