Posted by Timothy

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Chapter six of Daniel foreshadows the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The two stories parallel each other in a remarkable way.  In fact, the more you look at it, the more amazing the parallels become.  There is no way that this is a coincidence.  This is just another way to show how divinely inspired the Bible really is.  If the Bible is not divinely inspired, then how did the author of Daniel, 600 years earlier, tell a story that would parallel the well-documented story of Jesus?  Let’s take a look at all of the similarities between these two stories, then let’s look at one remarkable difference.

Story of Daniel (around 537 BC)                                        Story of Jesus (around 33 AD)

The administrators and satraps conspired against Daniel. The Pharisees and Jewish leaders conspired against Jesus.
They follow Daniel around, investigate him, and try to find something to charge him with. They follow Jesus around and try to find something to charge him with.  They ask him trick questions such as, “Should we pay taxes?” or “Should we stone this woman?”
Daniel is found blameless.  They can find nothing to bring against him. Jesus is found blameless.  They can find nothing to bring against him.
Daniel’s enemies come up with a plan to arrest him. Jesus’ enemies come up with a plan to arrest him.
Daniel’s enemies have to spy on him to catch him. Jesus’ enemies have to use a spy to catch him.
When the plan is put into motion Daniel goes into a time of prayer even though he knows that if he does he will be arrested. When the plan is put into motion Jesus goes into a time of prayer even though he knows that if he stays he will be arrested.
Daniel prays three times a day. Jesus prays three times in the garden.
Daniel is arrested after his time a prayer. Jesus is arrested after his time of prayer.
After being arrested, Daniel is immediately taken to judgment. After being arrested, Jesus is immediately taken to judgment.
Daniel is found guilty of transgressing the law of the Medes and Persians. Jesus is found guilty of transgressing the law of the Jews.
Darius is deeply stressed that Daniel must be sentenced to the lion’s den, even though Darius is the one who sentences him. Pontius Pilate is deeply stressed that Jesus has to be sentenced to the cross, even though Pilate is the one who sentences him.
Darius is unable to sleep. The wife of Pontius Pilate is troubled in her sleep.
Darius pours over the law to try to find some way to save Daniel before the sentence has to be carried out. Pontius tries to find a way to save Jesus.  He tries flogging him as a punishment, and then offers to release him, but the crowd chooses Barabbas.
The satraps have Darius cornered. The Pharisees have Pilate cornered.
Daniel is placed into a den. Jesus is placed into a tomb.
A giant rock is placed in front of the den. A giant rock is placed in front of the tomb.
The king’s seal is placed over the rock so if anyone breaks the seal they will be killed. A Roman seal is placed over the rock so if anyone breaks the seal they will be killed.
While Daniel is in the den Darius cannot sleep. While Jesus is in the tomb his followers are lost and distraught.
All possibility of escape is cut off.  Daniel is presumed dead. All possibility of escape is cut off.  Jesus is presumed dead.
A heavenly being appears in the lion’s den. A heavenly being appears at the tomb.
At first light, Darius rushes to the lion’s den. At first light, the women rush to the tomb.
Darius is given the good news that Daniel is alive. The women are given the good news that Jesus is alive.
Daniel lives to prosper in the Medo-Persian kingdom. Jesus lives to prosper in God’s kingdom.
Darius proclaims to the world that God’s kingdom will never be destroyed. The followers of Jesus proclaim God’s kingdom to the world.

 

This is another example of the divine inspiration of the Bible.  You cannot convince me that all of this is an accident, a coincidence, or that I’m simply reading too much into these stories.  In the same way that Jesus is foreshadowed by Moses, (see this post) Jesus is also foreshadowed by Daniel.   However, there is one huge difference between these two stories.

 It’s Just not fair

  Jesus dies and Daniel is saved.  Almost everything else between these two stories match, but Jesus dies and Daniel is saved.  It’s just not fair!  We see examples that seem unfair throughout the Bible.  Peter and James are both arrested, James is beheaded, and the next day Peter is supposed to be beheaded, but an angel rescues him from jail.  What?  Why did the angel not show up the day before and save both of them?  It’s just not fair!  The disciple John gets to become an old man and write Revelation, but Stephen is stoned as a young man.  It’s just not fair!  Why are things so unfair?  Jesus has to die on the cross, but Daniel is saved from the Lion’s den?  It’s just not fair.

The fact that we think this is not fair shows us how little faith we really have.  Because if we have complete faith that when a believer dies, they are going to heaven, and that they will one day be resurrected, to spend eternity with God, wouldn’t we look at it the other way around?  Think about it. . .if you have faith. . . It is the other way around.  People who experience a miracle and survive are stuck in this world, they will probably die an ordinary death, and they will spend eternity in heaven, as people who experienced a miracle during their lives.  On the other hand, when someone dies as a martyr, and is paraded through heaven, he or she will be known throughout all of eternity as someone who glorified God with his or her death.  Daniel will be known as a hero of the Bible, and a man of great faith, but the death that Jesus died will echo throughout eternity.  He will always be known for it.  John wrote Revelation and eventually died and he will be known throughout eternity as a faithful man, but Stephen died as a martyr, as a young man, and when he died he was paraded through the streets of heaven.  He will always be known as someone who glorified God with his death.  You see, we could look at it the other way around.  When we say it’s just not fair, maybe we are right, but we have it backwards.  It’s not fair that as we pass into eternity, some of us get to give such glory to God with our deaths, and others of us don’t.  We have it backwards.

I have some breaking news for you. . .we are all going to die. . . and then there will be eternity.  We can’t even comprehend how long eternity really is.  I mean, after a million years of eternity the fairness of our death really doesn’t matter does it?  All that matters is that when we died, we died to the glory of God.  That’s all that matters.  Now, that doesn’t mean that we should all go out and try to find a way to be martyred for God, but we should be mindful that we are glorifying God in our daily lives so when that day comes, whether sooner or later, we will also glorify him at the time of our deaths.  In other words, we should live like we have something worth dying for.  So the question is, do you have something worth dying for?  Martin Luther says, “If you have nothing worth dying for, then you have nothing worth living for.”  Martin Luther King says, “A man who has not found something worth dying for is not fit to live.”  Daniel and Jesus both had something to die for and they both had identical stories until the very end, but they didn’t get to choose the way that they died.  That was up to God.  All they could do, was make sure that however they were going to die, whether as a teenager, whether as a 33 years old on a cross, or whether as an 86-year-old in a lion’s den, however it was going to happen, they were going to die for the glory of God.  It didn’t matter if it was fair.  It only mattered that it was for the glory of God.  Their lives were for the glory of God. . . and their deaths were for the glory of God. . . . And there was nothing unfair about it.

Here is a link to the sermon that accompanies this Bible study:  “It’s Just Not Fair”

Miss chapter 6 part 1?  Here is the Bible study and here is the sermon.

Ready for chapter 7?  Here is the Bible study and here is the sermon.

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6 Responses to Daniel and Jesus: Divine Similarities

  1. Bingo says:

    What about the similarities to these stories in Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles? I feel this report is incomplete.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Or… this is actually evidence that the gospel stories were complete fabrications made by copying earlier material. There is no documentation of any event in the gospels, except debatably that Jesus was a cult leader crucified by Pontius Pilate.

    • Timothy says:

      You do know that a Gospel is documentation itself don’t you? Even if you do not agree with what it says it is still documentation. So that is four independent authors who document these events. Then there are the early Pauline letters that document some of the events as well. The letters show that the events of Jesus were being talked about as facts at a very early date. That is a lot of documentation for something that happened 2,000 years ago! Just because a piece of literature is included in the Bible does not mean that it is not a piece of documentation. Just because you don’t like what it says does not mean that it is not a source.

      To me, it is pretty far fetched to think that these authors all got together and said, “Lets create a story about a guy who has tons of similarities to the prophet Daniel, tons of similarities to Joseph, tons of similarities to Moses, and tons of similarities to Isaac. All in one man! Yeah, we can take all of these stories and write them into a story of one man who was crucified! Yes! That is a great idea. John, you go write yours over there in Ephesus, Mark, you go write yours in Rome, and we will make this look very real!” I have a hard time believing that, but I guess that’s the beauty of it all. We believe what we want to believe. . . right?

      • Kenny. says:

        Excellent reply Timothy. As Jesus said “All who love the truth come to me”.

      • Evan says:

        I also think it’s far fetched that these authors would all get together. However, most scholars agree that Mark was the earlier gospel that Matthew and Luke based theirs on. The similarities seem to only be in the Matthew version and not corroborated in Mark or Luke. The fact that the similarities in the Greek version of Matthew’s gospel and Daniel would suggest that Matthew embellished on the Markan gospel with the Daniel text. That seems a much more likely explanation of these similarities and foreshadowing and divine inspiration.

  3. A.Atai Khaiyar says:

    Thank for the answers.

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