TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2001 James Melough
DANIEL IN THE
Of all the OT types of Christ,
few are more easily discerned than that of Daniel as set before us in the
sixth chapter of the book bearing his name.
His preeminence, and the
reason for it, “because an excellent spirit was in him” (verse 3), prepare us
to see him as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ preeminent above all others,
having in Him an excellent spirit.
The envious “presidents and
princes” seeking “to find occasion against Daniel,” clearly foreshadow the
envious Jewish leaders who sought occasion against Christ, “... they took
counsel together for to put Him to death,” Jn.11:53. And as it was with
Daniel so was it with Christ, “They could find none occasion nor fault;
forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in
him” (v.4). Their confessed inability to find any fault implies a scrutiny of
Daniel’s life that had yielded nothing to justify their hatred and envy; and
so was it with Christ: He was condemned only on the false charge of blasphemy
- His claim to be the Son of God (Mk 14:61-64).
Having inveigled Darius into
signing a decree that was virtually Daniel’s death warrant, they thought they
had accomplished their evil purpose (v.9). “Now when Daniel knew that the
writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his
chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and
prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he had aforetime” (v.10). The Lord
also, knowing that His death was written in the Scriptures, would not deviate
from the path of obedience. (It is to be noted incidentally that Daniel’s
praying with his windows open towards Jerusalem wasn’t bravado. He was simply
obeying the command given by Solomon in 1 Ki 8:46-51).
The princes’ cunning
manipulation of Darius that resulted in Daniel’s loyalty to God being equated
with disloyalty to the king, bears remarkable resemblance to the Jews’
manipulation of Pilate, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s
friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar,” Jn 19:12.
“Then the king ... was sore
displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him” (v.14).
The conduct of Darius and Pilate is identical, “And from thenceforth Pilate
sought to release Him,” Jn 19:12. The blood lust of the enemy, however, would
be satisfied with nothing less than the death of both Daniel and Christ, for
in both cases the hatred emanated from the same evil source, Satan.
The reluctance with which
Darius finally delivered Daniel to the will of his enemies is but the OT
figure of the reluctance with which Pilate delivered Christ to the will of
None but the spiritually blind
will fail to see the parallel between the placing of the stone on what was
meant to be Daniel’s tomb, and the similar placing of a stone on the mouth of
the cave that was Christ’s tomb (Mt.27:60). Nor will even the unbeliever
refuse to acknowledge the remarkable “coincidence” that in both cases the
stones were sealed to prevent any frustration of the enemy’s purpose.
In the case of Daniel it is
recorded that, “The king ... passed the night fasting” (v.18). There was a
restless night associated also with the death of Christ, “When he (Pilate) was
set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou
nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in
a dream because of him” Mt 27:19.
The arrival of the sorrowing
king at the supposed tomb of Daniel “very early in the morning” is reminiscent
of the coming of the weeping women to the tomb of Christ, “very early in the
morning” (Mk 16:2). And the joy of Darius upon discovering that Daniel was
alive, prefigures that of the women upon hearing the angel’s words, “He is not
here: for he is risen.... And they departed ... with fear and great joy,” Mt
Daniel’s experience, however,
was but a shadow of the terrible reality endured by Christ. Daniel,
unscathed, could assure the king, “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut
the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me” (v.22); and “Daniel was taken
up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him” (v.23). It was
very different for Christ. When He was delivered up to the will of His
enemies there was no protecting angel to “shut the lion’s mouth.” When He was
“taken up out of the den,” it was the print of the nails in His hands and
feet, and the spear wound in His side, that convinced the doubting Thomas that
it was He Who stood before them (Jn 20:27).
The prosperity of Daniel
throughout the reigns of Darius and Cyrus; the destruction of his enemies; and
the universal honoring of God, point to the coming Millennium, when all of
these things will be fulfilled in fullest measure in connection with Christ.
We might note in passing, that
Daniel’s being used to portray the experiences of Christ, doesn’t preclude his
being used also to portray the Tribulation experiences of the believing
remnant. Like him, they too will be hated, persecuted, and “cast into the
lions’ den.” But God’s hand will preserve them through the trial; and the
Millennium will reveal that they too will have suffered no hurt, for their
enemies will be destroyed, and the martyrs raised to eternal life, while the
survivors will be brought out of the Tribulation into the Millennium where
they will enjoy the beneficent reign of Christ over a redeemed and transformed
earth; and God will be glorified to the uttermost bounds of creation.