Until I reread the story of Daniel for a recent Seminary lesson it hadn’t really struck me that Daniel was a type or foreshadowing of Christ.
Here are some of the ways in which Daniel foreshadowed the Saviour:
- Both Daniel and Christ were princes of the House of David (Daniel 1:3 and Matthew 1:1)
- Daniel is without fault, yet is opposed for his godliness by people who didn’t want him to rule over them. They can’t find fault in him, so they change the legal system to make what he already does illegal. Jesus was tried by a legal system that could not find fault with him, but was threatened with the death penalty anyway. (Daniel 6:4-5 and Mark 14:55-59)
- Daniel was plotted against by wicked, envious rulers – Christ was plotted against by wicked envious rulers of the Jews
- Both were tried and tempted (Daniel 1:5-8 and Matthew 4:1-11)
- Daniel prayed before being arrested, 3 times facing Jerusalem (Daniel 6:10) just as Jesus prayed 3 times in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives which overlooks Jerusalem.
- The king wanted to save Daniel (Daniel 6:14)- Pilate believed Jesus was innocent and wanted to save him.
- The king was forced to condemn Daniel to the punishment of the law (Daniel 6:15) – Pilate was forced to condemn Jesus to the punishment of Roman law.
- Daniel is not recorded as having said anything in his defence. Jesus was similarly silent before his accusers in terms of putting up a defence.
- There was no way out for Daniel since the law of Medes and Persians was unbreakable. (Daniel 6:15) The Father’s will was not changed for Jesus – he had to go through with the atonement.
- They were both strengthened by an angel (Daniel 10:17-18 and Luke 22:43)
- Daniel was sentenced to death and cast into a den of lions – Jesus was put into a tomb. Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm, says ‘They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.’
- A great stone was put on the mouth of the den (Daniel 6:17) – a great stone was put on the mouth of Jesus’s tomb (Matthew 27:57-65)
- Daniel was to be torn by the lions – Jesus was torn by scourging and by the cross.
- At break of day Daniel was alive and lifted out of the lions’ den (Daniel 6:19) – at dawn on the 3rd day the women found the stone rolled away and Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive.
- Darius sent a message to all nations and languages in his kingdom that men should fear the God of Daniel who saved him from death (Daniel 6:25-27) – Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the message of His resurrection to all the nations of the world.