This is one of the most amazing and incredible prophecies in the entire Bible. Daniel lived 500 years before Christ appeared, yet an angel came to Daniel and told him exactly WHEN the Messiah would show up, HOW LONG he would teach, and WHEN he would be PUT TO DEATH. [ Read DAN 9:24-27 for the complete text of this prophecy. ]

At the time this vision was given, Jerusalem and the temple were still in ruins. Three decrees appear in the book of Ezra, but only the first one applies here.

In their decree neither Cyrus nor Darius made any genuine provision for the restoration of the civil state as a complete unit -- the decree in the 7th year of Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. was the first to give the Jewish state full autonomy, subject to Persian overlordship.... From this decress, the Jewish people had "70 weeks" to get their act together....

The 70th week began in 27 A.D. with the opening of Christ's public ministry at the time of His baptism. It extended beyond the crucifixition "in the middle of the week" to the rejection of the Jews as the covenant people in 34 A.D.

                               THE 70 WEEKS
           ( 490 Years : "A day for a year." [EZK 4:6, NUM 14:34] )

 Artaxerxes'                                             Christ     Stephen
 Decree to       Restoration                           "Cut Off",   Stoned
 Rebuild         Complete                    Christ     Died On
 Jerusalem       |                         Baptised    The Cross   ACTS 7:59
 EZRA 7:7-26     |                                                       8:1
    |                                                       -+-         |
    |  7 weeks   |    62 weeks                    |          |          |
    |  49 years  |    434 years       B.C.   A.D. |      1 week         |
    |                                             27     7 years        |
   457                                           A.D.                  34
   B.C.                                                               A.D.

Christ performed His ministry for 3 1/2 years, then for about 3 1/2 years the authorities in Jersalem tolerated the preaching of the apostles, but in their spite was finally translated into decisive action in the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. After this, the Gospel was taken to the Gentiles.

THE VERY MOMENT our Lord died on the cross, unseen hands ripped apart the veil in the holy temple. [MAT 27:51] In this way God gave notice to Iseral that it was no longer necessary to continue their sacrificial services, which up to this point had been symbolic of Christ's sacrifice. For "the Lamb of God" had fulfilled His purpose. "The wages of sin is death." That debt was now being paid for by someone else who Himself was not under the same kind of debt. Admittedly we will still make mistakes, but the debt we run up has already been prepaid. Accepting Christ (or more accurately, accepting Christ's offer of paying off our debt) doesn't make us perfect, but offers us the salvation He wants us to have. We also have free will to walk up to the bar and pay the debt with our own life, but we have been told that this is not necessary (why? it's been paid for already, but we must humbly accept this gift).

Christ came into our world to pay the price demanded of sinners. Christ died on the cross so that all who believe in Him might avoid what the Bible calls 'the second death.' [ hold this thought: see THE LAKE OF FIRE ]

That temple veil was no normal piece of cloth -- it was heavy and strong and somewhere between three or four inches thick. No human being could have ripped it apart. And what did the tempt priests do? ...they sewed it back up and kept offering their sacrifices until the temple was torn down and destroyed in 70 A.D. ...just as Jesus said would happen.

" the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." [ DAN 9:27] And that's exactly what happened.

There is currently some misunderstanding in today's time where some people say this 'last week' of Daniel's 70-week prophecy is "cut off" from the other 69 weeks... But that is not what's said. It clearly says that Christ, the Messiah, would be the one "cut off," and that's exactly what happened.

Christ died exactly when and how the scriptures said He would. At the age of 33, he was "cut off." And then Stephen was stoned, and then the 70 weeks were over.

It is very important for everyone to do his own in-depth study of God's Word, the scriptures -- you are not to just blindy follow someone else's interpretation of the Bible, you must study. That includes checking out words in the concordance of the scriptures, especially the Greek-English interlineral new testament, etc. Read. Study. Compare. Never-ever just believe anyone's word blindly in these matters. A little truth and a little error mixed in with tradtions that never change are exactly how things get messed up. We're taught that the Bible has four functions [2 TIM 3:16]:

Usually people have no problem with doctrine and instruction/learning. The reproof and correct people brush aside and are quick to make up excuses.

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