“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV).
Perhaps nobody in the cadre of Old Testament authors better depicted the true picture of Jesus without ever setting eyes on Him than Daniel. Even in Daniel’s time, the Jews were awaiting the Messiah. Messiah would come and restore the glory of David’s kingdom. Messiah would come and set all things right. Messiah would come and reign among men in ways He hadn’t since Eden. Messiah would come and redeem Israel. Messiah would come and He would be God.
Daniel says Messiah would be “like a son of man.” He would be God, standing in the presence of the Ancient of Days, yet He would also be a man; someone we could touch and hear and see. Messiah’s authority would be given to Him directly by God, and all the world would know it and Him. People of all nations, all people, would know Him and recognize Him as God and worship Him.
Even in Daniel’s time, Messiah is clearly Jesus.
Not only, but Daniel uses the word, “is.” He talks about Messiah’s dominion “IS an everlasting dominion.” And His kingdom “IS one that will never be destroyed.” Five hundred plus years before God Immanuel walked the earth as the God-man Jesus, Daniel describes Jesus the King as someone who already is King, who already is reigning, who already is eternal and forever. Where all the other prophets spoke of God’s kingdom as a thing yet to come, Daniel speaks here of Jesus being the King of glory already.
And Daniel had never heard of Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, Nazareth was hundreds of miles away. When Daniel saw this vision, he was a captive in Babylon, esteemed by the emperor but still little more than a slave. Daniel needed a deliverer, a messiah, a savior, and God showed him who it is. Because of the vision, Daniel could tell his people that God hadn’t forsaken them, that God would yet deliver them from this fresh beast who had made war against the Almighty and had been found wanting.
Twenty-five hundred years after Daniel, in a time when empires are shifting yet again, the same is still true for us. To paraphrase Job, we know our Redeemer lives and we will yet see Him standing on the earth.
For further reading: Deuteronomy 33:26, Job 19:25, Isaiah 13:6, Ezekiel 1:5, Zephaniah 1:14, Malachi 3:2, Hebrews 12:28, Revelation 1:13, Daniel 7:15
Lord, You alone are my Savior and redeemer!
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