Daniel, Jesus, and The Real Lions’ Den

The final few days of Jesus’ earthly life share remarkable parallels with Daniel’s brush with the furry felines in Daniel 6.

Both Daniel and Jesus . . .

. . . are lonely faithful Israelites who find themselves in a land under Gentile rule (Dan 6:1);

. . . are filled with God’s Spirit (Dan 6:3;??Luke 4:1,??14);

. . . are conspired against by ill-meaning, jealous men of influence (Dan 6:4;Matt 26:3-4);

. . . are above reproach, making it impossible for their antagonists to find fault with them (Dan 6:4;??Matt 26:59-60);

. . . are found guilty through treachery (Dan 6:4-9;??Matt 27:20);

. . . pray to God, alone, before the impending arrest (Dan 6:10;??Matt 26:36);

. . . are presented to a Gentile ruler who would prefer to side with the accused (Dan 6:14;??John 19:4);

. . . have a stone rolled over the opening of where they have been placed (Dan 6:17;??Matt 27:60);

. . . are, against expectation, found alive in the morning (Dan 6:19;??Matt 28:5-6)

. . . are brought up out of a hole in the ground where the stone has now been removed (Dan 6:23;??Matt 28:6);

. . . convince a Gentile observer that they were blameless (Dan 6:22-23;??Mark 15:39).

There is one great difference, of course. Daniel was spared; Jesus was not. From one perspective, of course, both Daniel and Jesus were unjustly accused, arraigned, and placed in a hole out of which they both miraculously arose in full vindication. Yet the fearful demise to which Daniel was handed over never overtook him. He escaped. He was spared. The fearful demise to which Jesus was handed over did overtake him (Mark 14:34;??15:24). He did not escape. He was not spared.

I’m not saying Matthew or any of the other Gospel writers had Daniel 6 in mind as they wrote. Maybe they did, maybe not. For myself, I find it hard to imagine that the thought never crossed their mind, in light of how well all four obviously knew their Bibles.

Continue reading Dane Ortlund’s post.

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