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Daniel the prophet receives an intriguing prophecy from the archangel Gabriel in this passage, known as the Seventy Weeks Prophecy, for Gabriel gives a seventy-week time frame for the coming of the Messiah. He divides the first sixty-nine weeks into two periods, the first of seven weeks and the second of sixty-two weeks.
The prophecy shows that the Messiah would die, "but not for Himself." That is in perfect agreement with the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ! He gave Himself to redeem us from our bondage to sin and death (Galatians 1:3-5; Ephesians 2:1).
Next, the prophecy says He would "confirm a covenant with many." Is this not what He did? Did He not become the Mediator of a new and better covenant (Hebrews 9:15)? When He instituted the new symbols for the Passover, Jesus says about the wine, "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28; see Mark 14:24).
Then Gabriel prophesies that the Messiah would bring to an end to the need for ritual animal sacrifices and offerings. The writer of Hebrews plainly states, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4). Christ's sacrifice was much more effective: "Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12).
The angel says the Messiah would accomplish this "in the middle [midst, KJV] of the week." Obviously, its primary meaning refers to the middle of the seventieth week, or literally, three and a half years, the exact length of Christ's ministry. However, as we have seen, God fulfills His prophecies perfectly. Not only did Jesus' ministry last for three and a half years, but He also died on a Wednesday, the exact middle day of a week!
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'