Last week, as we read this chapter, I paused at verse 16 and pointed out that you should see some similarity with this and the entombment of the Lord Jesus. A few minutes ago we read from Matthew 27 and saw that Joseph laid the body of Jesus in his own tomb. Then the Jews, worried about what Jesus had prophesied about resurrection, went to Pilate for some help. He simply told them to make the grave as secure as possible, and so they sealed it and posted guards. In some ways there is a parallel with what happened to Daniel.

Do you suppose that if we can see a glimpse of the Lord Jesus in this aspect of Daniel’s life, we might see other things about Christ? Without stretching our imaginations too far, I believe that we can. And perhaps I should say that we should. The Lord Jesus once said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Why were the people of Berea more noble than those of Thessalonica? Because they searched the scriptures daily. And what were they hoping to find in their daily searchings? Among other things, they were looking for the Saviour.

I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit deliberately designed this chapter to teach us about Christ. But at the same time, we have here an Old Testament saint of God, who lived close to the throne of God. The more time that God’s children spend in fellowship with the Saviour, the more like Christ they become. And Daniel may have been more Christ-like than any other Old Testament saint. Furthermore, things fell into place around him which should remind us of the Lord Jesus. It is one of the marvels of physics and music that when two strings on different instruments are properly tuned, when one plays its note, the other sometimes involuntarily begins to vibrate in unison. See if you can’t hear an echo this morning between Daniel and the Lord Jesus.

Trying to go somewhat sequentially, notice the ACCUSATIONS of Daniel’s enemies.
Why did the Persian presidents and princes want Daniel removed from office? As we have said several times, for some it was because he was a roadblock on their fast-track to success. For others, there were sins which they couldn’t commit, because he sought to keep the king from damage. And for others, it was simply a matter of jealous animosity.

Humanly speaking why was Christ Jesus crucified? For some of the priests and political figures, Jesus was becoming too popular with the general public. His disciples, under His authority, were baptizing hundreds of people. And then there were those inexplicable miracles, like raising the dead, healing the sick, and feeding the hungry. The priests, those men who claimed divine authority, couldn’t compete with that sort of thing. They were losing their control. Then there was the actual teaching which Jesus was doing. Most of the religious leadership in Jesus day was Sadducee. These were religious liberals, who denied many of the fundamentals of the Bible. And Christ was affirming those fundamentals. He was teaching the reality of Satan, the punishment for sin, eternal judgment and life after death. When the priests sent their experts to shame and silence him, they came away either confounded or converted. As is true in just about any government, the leaders of the nation were rich and getting richer. But the common people were hungry and even starving; there was the threat of rebellion. And along came this man who claimed to be the Messiah, and He lived like one of the common people. There were dozens of things which set Jesus apart from the Sanhedrin, and which made them nervous. And we’ll come to some more of them as we move along.

When they couldn’t take it any longer, Daniel’s enemies came up with a plan to put him down. Do you remember that there were several occasions when Jesus’ enemies did the same sort of thing. They concocted questions or situations which were designed to force him into self condemnation. At times the idea was to force him into statements about political rebellion. At other times it was to drive a wedge between Him and the people. At other times it was to make him deny the scriptures in some fashion. For example “the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” This was not the only time that they tried this sort of thing. Isn’t it similar to what his enemies tried to do with Daniel?

After their edict was passed and Daniel had been given enough time to condemn himself, his enemies brought him before the king. They demanded that this Pilate execute Daniel according to the laws of the Medes and the Persians. Darius did his best to wash his hands of the situation, but he couldn’t – Daniel must die. And similarly, the Jews brought the Lord Jesus to Pilate and forced his hand. “Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”

Theologically speaking, why did Jesus have to die? In the eternal plan of God, Christ took upon Himself the sins those He intended to save. And “the wages of sin is death,” even when Another has taken up those sins. Christ died because the divine law demanded that death. Christ died because the Law of God demanded – “death to the sinner.” There was only one way that sinners like us could be saved; it was through the vicarious – the substitutionary – death of an innocent victim – Christ. And similarly, Daniel was cast into the lion’s den because the law demanded it. Christ died because the law demanded it – if salvation is to be completed, someone must die.

Consider for a moment the parallel between the PERSON of Daniel and Christ Jesus.
After Daniel spent that night in the lion’s den, and Darius came to look for him the next morning, he cried with a lamentable voice – a lugubrious voice – “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” To this Daniel replied, “O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; & also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”

Have I mentioned recently that Daniel is one of those few major characters in the Bible in whom we can’t find mention of sin? As far as Daniel’s relationship to King Darius was concerned, he had certainly done him no hurt. Even though he had broken the law, in doing so he had not harmed the king in any way. He hadn’t flagrantly and defiantly broken the law so that all the world might see. I know of many of my Baptist brethren who would have taken a copy of that law, put it on a sandwich board, stood beside it on the street corner, and prayed to Heaven so loudly that it could have been heard in Hell. But that was not Daniel’s style. Despite his faithfulness to God, he did not deliberately try to offend or shame the king. At the same time, before the Lord in this regard – perfect innocency was found in him. His devotions before Jehovah didn’t miss a beat – a turn – one morning or evening prayer.

Similarly, but to much, much higher degree – the Lord Jesus was perfectly perfect. He “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” Various men throughout the New Testament declared that Jesus Christ was righteous, innocent, holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. Jesus even challenged his accusers – “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” “Who among you can reprove me, or convincingly charge me with any sin?” Once again we have a parallel between Daniel and Christ – Daniel is a type or illustration of Christ Jesus.

I know that it is impossible for anyone to know exactly, because we would have had to be there…. But how would you have behaved if you were the one being ordered into the lion’s den? Would you have been screaming and fighting every step of the way? Would you have been whimpering and quietly protesting? Would you have been pointing out the injustice of the law and this execution? Would you have been a puddle of tears or in a lifeless faint?

Look at Daniel. Other than the fact that he was tied hand and foot, and it required a couple of men to throw him in, he found strength in his Saviour. He didn’t know if this was his time to die, but he might have assumed so. And yet what is death except his step into the presence of the Saviour? If this is the will of the Lord, then, knowing of the Lord’s love for him, Daniel was willing to face it. You might say that he was lead as a sheep to lions. And of course in this approach towards death he was much like our Saviour. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Look at Christ before Pilate – He didn’t even try to defend Himself against these unjust accusations. It was the will of the Father that Christ die, and in His obedience He strolled into the lion’s den. Daniel didn’t know if it was the will of the Father that he die a leonine death, but if that was what the Lord wanted, he was willing to face it quietly.

Now, let me stretch my parallel to it’s limit, but bear with me, because this is a Biblical truth.

There is a sense in which Daniel was DYING FOR ANOTHER MAN’S SINS.
Why was Darius so upset in verse 14? It wasn’t because he had been told that Daniel had broken his law. He was upset and couldn’t sleep because HE had been so stupid that he signed the law in the first place. Daniel didn’t sin when he prayed to his God, and he committed a crime only because of an unjust law. Darius had been overcome by the fawning flattery of his wicked presidents and princes. It doesn’t matter what the source of the temptation, when the sin is committed, it goes on the record of that sinner not to the tempter. Darius sinned, and Daniel was dying for his sin.

And again, why did Jesus die? It was not for any sin which He had committed. He had never sinned – not even as a child. That is a bold statement which is laughed at by the majority of the world, but it is true. And I will go a step farther to say that Christ Jesus couldn’t have sinned. Just as it is impossible for God to lie, it is impossible for God to commit any other sin. And just as it is impossible for God the Father to sin, it is impossible for God the Son to sin. But, as the Bible says, death is the result and end of sin.

So, why did Christ Jesus die? He “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” He is the good shepherd: “the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” He was “delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” He “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people.” In “his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” He “gave himself for ME.”

This is the faith that I have in Christ – Jesus died in my place on the cross. He carried my sins upon Him when He died. God the father looked upon Christ, and saw my death in His. And in a remote sort of way, Daniel died for Darius’ sins – not to atone for them, but because of them.

Because the Passover was coming up quickly, it was decided to remove Jesus’ body from the cross. Joseph of Aramathea volunteered to take the body down and quickly prepare it for burial. As he didn’t have any other, the body of Christ was laid in Joseph’s brand new tomb. Then as we read earlier, the Jews, under the pretense that Jesus’ disciples might steal the body, not only closed the stone door over the entrance to the tomb, but they then applied a wax seal and stationed guards. Do you suppose that Daniel’s enemies might have thought that Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah might have come to rescue their friend before the lion’s finished him? Or was the sealed door designed to keep Daniel from trying to escape? Was Jesus’ sealed tomb designed to keep his disciples out or to keep Jesus in? Matthew 27: 63 – “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away.”

But the seal didn’t stop the RESURRECTION.
For all intents and purposes Daniel died that night. That was the intention of his enemies; that was the expectation of the faithless. That was the purpose and the nature of the lions.

But nothing can stop the infinite omnipotence of the Lord. (How’s that for redundancy?) During Darius’ agonizingly long night, an angel of the Lord came to visit Daniel. During Daniel’s exceedingly short night, he was entertained with heavenly conversation and fellowship. Why didn’t the angel simply open the seal and send the man out, the way that he released Peter from the prison of Herod? What would you do with 6 or 8 hours of time with Michael, Gabriel or even one of the Lord’s lesser angels? Those hours probably shot past him like they were fired from a rifle. What questions, what spiritual nourishment, what strength, what joy. But none of it would have been Daniel’s if he hadn’t been willing to die in his duty to God. That night was similar to Paul’s night with Silas in the Philippian jail. And very early the next morning, the king broke his own seal and delivered Daniel from the dark, dank dungeon.

Why couldn’t we have come to this lesson three weeks ago – resurrection morning? Christ Jesus died on Wednesday afternoon, and just before the evening sacrifice He was buried. Wednesday night and Thursday, Thursday night and Friday, Friday night and Saturday, his body lay in Joseph’s new tomb. But then just about the time of the evening sacrifice on Saturday night, He came out of His grave. By Sunday morning He was visiting with some of His disciples, just as alive, as he had been 3 years earlier. Death and the grave could not hold him. As Paul says, Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” And “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

Notice that Daniel 6:23 says that “no manner of hurt was found upon him.” Does that mean that Darius ordered that his EMTs to stand by, and that they gave him a physical? Did the people there give Daniel a thorough examination, or was it just out of the corner of their eye? Why should there be any harm or damage? The Lord ordained that the lions be lambs for that evening.

And similarly, there was no residual damage to the Lord Jesus after His battle with death. Ah, wait a minute, there were the marks of the wounds in his hands, feet and side. Does Christ Jesus still bear those scars? Judging from what I read in the Book of Revelation, I would guess that despite His glorified body, yes, He does carry those scars. They are a part of His victory – and they are a part of our salvation. Are they still weeping and bloody? I think not. That is no longer their purpose. Just the sight of them, as it was with Thomas, should be enough to evoke our wonder and praise.

One other point before I close.
We see that Daniel’s accusers are subsequently tossed into that same den of lions. I wonder if their hearts melted before Daniel in recognition of the wonderful grace and over powering omnipotence of Jehovah? I wonder if any of them sincerely sought Daniel’s forgiveness. Did any of them repent of their sins, and begin to look upon Jehovah as the one true and living God? All that I can do is guess, and my guess would be that they died in their stubborn hatred. And then they were cast into the same death into which they had tossed the Lord’s anointed.

Might we say that all those who reject and spit upon the Saviour, will likewise die a death similar to His? Oh, they may leave this world in a thousand different ways. But after that, they will find that the God who had blessed them every day of their physical lives, has finally and permanently turned from them. The unbeliever begins to experience eternal death the moment that his physical death concludes. The agony of separation from God will begin, just as the Lord Jesus experienced it upon the cross. And what is more – their children are sinners just like their parents. They too, will be cast into the same lion’s den barring the saving grace of Almighty God.

I’m sure that I’ve not exhausted this type – this illustration. But I’m not sure that digging more deeply would be any more of a blessing. What we need to do at this moment, is forget about Daniel and look unto Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.” Can you say with confidence and faith – “Jesus died for ME. Jesus Christ paid MY penalty for sin?” It isn’t good enough simply that Jesus died, or that He died on the cross. You must have confidence – that is, you must believe – that Christ bore your sins in his own body on the cross. Are you absolutely sure that He has and He is your only hope of salvation? If you have any doubts you need to find a good Christian and talk to them about your need of the Saviour.