A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. Daniel 6:17-18 (NIV).
Have you ever considered this story to be a foreshadowing of Good Friday? The similarities to the burial (and resurrection) of Jesus are quite amazing. Consider that:
- Daniel was innocent and apprehended while praying (like Jesus at Gethsemene).
- Daniel was sentenced to death in a sham proceeding (like Jesus was).
- Daniel was sentenced to die in a horrible, public way (like Jesus was).
- Darius, like Pilate, knew Daniel was innocent yet had to pass judgment on him anyway.
- Daniel was thrown into a rocky den, similar to Christ’s tomb that was cut from a rock.
- A stone was brought in to place over the opening (like Jesus’ tomb).
- The stone was sealed (like Jesus’ tomb).
- The events greatly troubled Darius (like the crucifixion troubled Pilate).
- (As we’ll see) Daniel will be delivered alive from his tomb (like, well, you know).
Maybe that’s why so many non-believers scorn the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. After all, it’s impossible, right? Ferocious lions would shred Daniel from the second he was thrown into the enclosure! But, you know, it was also impossible for a dead man named Jesus to say He was God, then raise Himself to life (which he both predicted, then later did).
Nothing is impossible for God, whether it’s raising His only son back to life or saving an old Jewish captive from being eaten by lions.
It wasn’t until I read these verses (in preparing this blog) that I recognized how they are a kind of foreshadowing of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This isn’t original; many others have considered this before. Call me slow to understand. Yet I also find it to be another reassuring example of how God continually worked miracles for His people all throughout history. Of course, those miracles reached their pinnacle on Easter morning, yet it’s amazing to read again and again of how He performed them all along. And how He performs them still today, or haven’t you considered just the simple miracle of your waking up today to read these words? Praise God for His mercy.
If you know the outcome of the story, you know what’s next. Hopefully you’ll see, too, yet another event that points not just to Daniel’s rescue, but to how God still rescues each of us.
For further reading: 2 Samuel 12:17, Esther 6:1, Matthew 27:66, Daniel 6:19
Lord Jesus, thank You for this reminder from the Old Testament of Your resurrection
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