The Resurrection, Daniel and the Lions Den

Theodorus VanderGroe, the Dutch further reformation theologian, wrote these words in his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism. May these words encourage your soul as they tie the OT and the NT together in Christ.

“In Daniel 6:17-28, we read of a noteworthy and well-known incident regarding the prophet. Since Daniel remained steadfast in worshiping and serving the Lord his God, King Darius, at the instigation of Daniel’s enemies, cast him into the lions’ den. To prevent anyone from removing him from this den, its opening or door was blocked by a heavy stone and sealed with the king’s ring. However, God preserved Daniel in this den by closing the mouths of the lions, thereby preventing them from harming him even in the least. Thereafter, He delivered him from this lions’ den and exalted him to a position of honor that Was higher than what he held previously.

“Within the context of this event, we may rightly consider Daniel as exemplifying the Lord Jesus Christ, the great redeemer and savior of an elect and believing world. As Daniel was cast into the lions’ den at the instigation of his enemies, and as the entrance to that den was completely blocked by a heavy stone and sealed with the king’s ring, thereby vouchsafing that no one would remove him and that he would be devoured by the lions, likewise the Lord Jesus, after having been slain, was also cast into a grave chamber. Not only was the opening of this grave blocked by a heavy stone and sealed by His enemies,but a detachment of soldiers was then appointed to make certain that His disciples would not be able to come and remove Him from the grave.

“As Daniel was delivered by God Himself from the lions’ den, emerging from it alive and unharmed so that he would be exalted to a position of greater honor, God Himself likewise, after a short period of time, delivered the Lord Jesus from the pit of His grave without death having harmed Him in any way. Freely and unhindered, Jesus left the grave and rose from the dead so that God could exalt Him to a position of greater honor.”

The Christian’s Only Comfort in Life and Death (RHB: Grand Rapids, 2016), 349-350. translated by Bartel Elshout.

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