At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:19-23 (NIV).
This story describes a miracle. Daniel was thrown into a den of ravenous lions and, when the king ran to check on him the next day, Daniel was unharmed.
Miracle. Not just a miracle, but an expression of faith, a deliverance from evil. If the previous verses were a foreshadowing of Good Friday, then this is a foreshadowing of Easter. Christ rescued humankind from the eternal consequences of our sins. In this part of his story, God rescued Daniel from the consequences of someone else’s sins (namely the scheming of the satraps and the moral weakness of King Darius).
Again, a miracle. Or maybe a host of miracles. It was a kind of miracle that Darius was troubled in lovingkindness for an innocent man he had condemned. It was a miracle that God sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions. It was a miracle that Daniel witnessed his innocence to the king. And, it was a miracle that, after all this, Darius had Daniel removed from the den to find not a scratch on him.
It was a morning full of miracles, all due to the mercy of God. Just like Easter Sunday. Just like every Sunday. Just like today, in fact. How many angels protect us when we drive home in traffic, skirting a thousand cars a day to get safely from one point to another? How many miracles occur when a muscle called “the heart” continually pumping gallons of blood through our veins every minute of every day for decades? How many miracles happen every day around us, even when we forget to notice them? And what about the miracles of mercy and love that we find from Jesus, or from each other, when we least deserve them?
You could drive yourself crazy (in mania or joy alike) trying to begin to count them. I’m not even sure we could. But Jesus can.
For further reading: Genesis 32:1, Nehemiah 2:3, Psalm 91:11-13, Acts 12:11, 2 Timothy 4:17, Hebrews 11:33, Daniel 6:24
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your world of mercy and Your miracles.
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