Neither prophecy (further messianic revelation) nor additional sacrifices (of the old covenant), nor a rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple, are forthcoming. They are not needed. Once Christ has come, what remains yet to be accomplished? Even death has been defeated.
I’ve been reading through Athanasius’ classic text, On the Incarnation. In Section 39, Athanasius is marshaling evidence from fulfilled prophecy to confirm the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is primarily concerned with responding to Jews who do not believe that Jesus is God incarnate when the evidence from their own prophets indicates otherwise.
On but perhaps, not even themselves being able to fight against obvious truths, they will not deny what is written, but will positively assert that they are expecting these things, and that God the Word has not yet come. For this is their common and continual talk, nor do they blush to fly in the face of obvious facts.
To build his case, he introduces Daniel 9:24-27 as an example of an Old Testament prophecy which confirms that Israel’s prophets foretold of the coming Messiah.
But on this point the more especially shall they [the Jews] be confuted, not by us, but by the most wise Daniel, who indicates both the present time and the Divine manifestation of the Saviour, saying: ‘Seventy weeks are cut short upon thy people and upon the holy city, to make a full end of sin, and for sins to be sealed up, and to expunge iniquities, and to make propitiation for iniquities, and to bring eternal righteousness, and to seal vision and prophet, and to anoint the All-Holy One; and thou shalt know and understand from the going forth of the word to answer, and build Jerusalem until Christ the Chief.’
There are some interesting points as well as significant omissions made here. First, Athanasius understands the seventy weeks prophecy as fulfilled in its entirety by Jesus’ messianic mission. Since Jews do not accept that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah, they are forced to push Daniel’s prophecy off into the future so as to evade implications of Daniel’s prediction coming to pass in exacting detail. Second, Athanasius sees Jesus as the one who has put an end to sin (sin’s hold upon us which results in death), who has sealed up sins (the implication is that sin’s condemnation has ended), whose death washes away sin’s guilt, and serves as a propitiation (which turns aside wrath). Furthermore, Jesus will bring in everlasting righteousness, and he will seal vision and prophecy as the anointed (the All-Holy One). Third, seeing this prophecy as fulfilled in Christ (and therefore already three centuries in the past when Athanasius’ pens these words), there is no mention of a future Antichrist, only a coming prince who is Christ, i.e., Israel’s Messiah.
Next, Athanasius highlights the prior fulfillment of Daniel 9:24-27, to demonstrate that attempts by Jews to push Daniel’s prophecy into the future to evade the impact of Christ’s work simply will not work.
Perhaps for other prophecies they can find evasions, and postpone to a future time what is written. But what can they say to this, or can they at all face it? For here, at least, both Christ is pointed out, and the Anointed One announced to be not simply man but an All-Holy; and until this coming Jerusalem is to stand, and for the future prophet and vision cease in Israel.
Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy also reflects what the other prophets of Israel had predicted for Jerusalem and for the people of God: destruction and exile.
David of old was anointed, and Solomon and Hezekiah, but Jerusalem and the place then stood, and prophets prophesied, Gad and Asaph and Nathan, and after them Isaiah and Hosea and Amos and others. Besides, the men themselves who were anointed were called ‘holy,’ but not ‘All-Holy.’ But if they bring forward the Captivity, and say that because of it Jerusalem was not, what can they say about the prophets? For when the people went down of old into Babylon, Daniel and Jeremiah were there, and Ezekiel and Haggai and Zechariah prophesied.