Daniel in the lion’s den, the resurrection of the Lord and what that means for us today
Created by Jon Taylor - Monday 14 May 2018
Jon Taylor
Some commentaries note the similarity between the stone that was sealed over the lion’s den to prevent the possibility of anyone assisting an escape for Daniel and the stone that was sealed over the tomb where our Lord was buried, to ensure that His body wouldn’t be stolen. There are many other astonishing parallels between the two events, ultimately demonstrating the divine seal of God’s sovereignty throughout the ages and for all time.
False accusation of the innocent
Noticeably, Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps because an excellent spirit was within him; and those who heard Jesus teach were astonished since He taught as one having authority, not as the scribes (Dan. 6:3; Matt. 7:29). The governors and satraps were not able to find a charge against Daniel, so they had to create an accusation by establishing a decree concerning the law of his God (Dan. 6:5:9). Similarly, when Jesus faced the Sanhedrin they were unable to obtain even false testimony against Him so false witnesses came forward (Matt. 27:59-60).
Daniel was innocent and so was Jesus. Daniel was thrown into the den of the lions for petitioning Yahweh and Jesus was accused of blasphemy. Daniel prayed with his windows open towards Jerusalem and Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. Daniel was to be thrown amongst the lions and David prophesied (speaking of those at the scene of the crucifixion) ‘They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion (Psalm 22:13)’ and ‘save me from the lion’s mouth (Psalm 22:21a)’.
Darius’ Predicament and God’s overruling
Darius had a predicament not dissimilar to that of Pilate. They were both under enormous pressure to sentence innocent men to seemingly certain death. Since Darius recognised that Daniel was innocent, he was most reluctant to have him killed so he set his heart to release him. Pilate washed his hands to demonstrate his unwillingness for Jesus to be crucified. Darius spent the night fasting and couldn’t sleep (Dan. 6:18). Similarly, Pilate’s wife was greatly troubled and suffered many things in a dream because of our Lord (Matt. 27:19). Darius was most anxious to discover the outcome so rose early in the morning to the den of lions (Dan. 6:19). This is paralleled by Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, and as the first day of the week began to dawn, they came to see the tomb (Matt. 28:1). On arrival at the tomb they encountered an angel and Daniel also testified that the Lord had sent His angel who shut the lion’s mouths.
The stones and their seals
The stone that covered the lion’s den and the stone that covered the tomb were both vital. The first stone would prevent any remote and unlikely chance of escape and would avoid anyone hauling Daniel up from the den. The stone that covered the tomb where Jesus lay was there to prevent anyone from stealing the body in addition to the precaution of having soldiers guarding the tomb. Both stones were sealed by gentile rulers, though human power was unable to seal the fate of Daniel or keep our Lord in the grave as He rose victorious. Seals speak of authority and ownership, especially in the Ancient World as they still often do nowadays. Thus, the stone and seal and the emergence and deliverance of Daniel, is a type of the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
Honouring God
Afterwards, being convinced of what he witnessed, Darius greatly honoured God. He was satisfied intellectually and there was a change in his heart also. “I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions (Dan. 6:26-27)”. 
Likewise, another gentile in authority, the centurion who was guarding Jesus; after seeing the earthquake and the things that had happened, glorified God saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man (Luke 23:47)!” and declared “Truly this was the Son of God (Matt. 27:54)”.
Daniel in the lion’s den, the resurrection of the Lord and what that means for us today
God’s word has stood the test of time despite the most rigorous scrutiny from all angles. The so called higher critics have desperately tried to undermine Daniel’s prophecies concerning the rise and fall of nations and the overthrow of Gentile power systems foretold in stunning accuracy. Some have even started with the biased presupposition that Daniel was written at a much later date than which the Bible indicates because of the precision and timing concerning the coming Messiah, destruction of the second temple and Jerusalem in AD70 and the compelling description of successive empires in relation to Israel and historical facts concerning world events. The reason being is that if the Bible is true, then we are accountable to God, which will mean living for His glory, not our own.
Historians, able scholars and journalists, have intensively investigated the evidence for the resurrection of our Lord with their chief objective in mind, to disprove and discredit the resurrection event, but in the providence of God have come to a saving knowledge and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Rock of Ages.  Sir William Ramsay, Frank Morrison and Lee Strobel are a few examples in kind who have published valuable works concerning that.  Biblical accounts and Biblical events testify not only to the reality of reliable and true occurrence but also of divine inspiration. The Bible is God breathed and authoritative and the Spirit speaks and testifies of the Alpha and the Omega who is the Author of salvation. Jesus brought deliverance through His substitutionary atonement because our sin nature condemned us and without Him we could never be reconciled to God. The Biblical response is to become a true worshipper of the living God, fear the God of Daniel and glorify the sovereign Creator and King of the Universe, Jesus our Messiah.
Monday 14 May 2018