Daniel 9:27 But in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering.

The prophecy of Daniel 9 says that this world’s sin problem would be solved (9:24) through the appearance (v25) and killing of the messiah (v26), while he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering (9:27).  In the light of New Testament, this describes Jesus Christ.

The Context

This stop to sacrifice must be understood within its context:

make atonement for iniquity
To make atonement for iniquity

Verse 24 lists six goals to be attained through Daniel’s people during the 490 years, including “to make atonement for iniquity” and “to bring in everlasting righteousness”.

The goals must be fulfilled through seven events listed in 9:25-26, including the appearance (v25) and the killing of the Messiah (v26).

Verse 27, saying that he will put a stop to sacrifices in the middle of the final seven years, is the core and purpose of the 490 years.  According to the chiastic structure of the prophecy, the killing of the Messiah is the main event through which the goals are fulfilled (see Poetic pattern and Chiasm).

In conclusion, the prophecy of Daniel 9 says that this world’s sin problem would be solved (9:24) through the appearance (v25) and killing of the messiah (v26), while he will put a stop to sacrifice (9:27).

Fulfilled in Jesus

In the light of New Testament, this describes Jesus Christ:

He was “Jesus the Messiah” (Matt 1:1, cf. 1:16, 17; 2:4; John 1:41, 4:25).

He was killed.

He solved the sin problem of the world.  Through His death, He fulfilled the goals in verse 24 “to make atonement for iniquity” (John 1:29; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 7:27, 9:12; 10:10, 12, 14, 26-28;) and “to bring in everlasting righteousness” (Heb. 9:12; Rom. 5:10, 11; Col. 1:20; 2Co 5:19; Col 1:22; Rom 5:18; John 3:17; Col 1:19-20).

His death put a stop to sacrifice.  Christ’s death did not put a stop to sacrifice immediately.  The Jewish sacrifices continued until the destruction of Jerusalem forty years later.  But these sacrifices pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice of Lamb of God.  When Jesus—the Lamb of God—died as the once-for-all and all-sufficient sacrifice for sins, He fulfilled the significance of those sacrifices.  The Jewish sacrifices were consequently terminated at the death of Christ in the sense of its loss of meaning.

The letter to the Hebrews states this explicitly.  When Jesus ascended to heaven and became High Priest (Heb. 6:20), the law changed (Heb. 7:12), including the sacrificial system (Heb. 7:19; 8:4; 9:22).  Jesus set “aside the first [sacrifices and offerings] to establish the second” (Heb. 10:9).  (See also Heb. 8:13 and Eph. 2:15.)  In this way His death caused “sacrifice and the oblation (NASB: grain offering) to cease” (Daniel 9:27).

Conclusion

The Daniel 9 prophecy is therefore thoroughly messianic in nature.  In this context the statement that “he will put a stop to sacrifice” in 9:27 must be understood as referring to the sacrifice at the Cross which made an end to all other sacrifices.  The “he” therefore refers to the Messiah.  “In the middle of the week” was when He died; about 3 or 4 years after His baptism.

The prophecy, received 500 years before the cross, discloses a most profound aspect of the Messiah’s mission, namely that His death would be the true sacrifice for sin.  As also disclosed by Isaiah 53, He was “pierced through for our transgressions”.  This is not only another proof of the existence of the supernatural, but also it tells us much about the nature of the universe.  God knows where we are.  He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins.  We cannot understand why and how, for His thoughts are as high above our thoughts as the stars are above the earth, but it is wonderful to understand that the Source of all power and love feels this way about us; undeserving sinners.

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