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September 8 Today’s Reading: Daniel 6-8
“The king...set his heart on Daniel to deliver him.”
Daniel 6 gives us a very clear picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, showing us the necessity of atonement by our great Savior’s sacrifice upon the cursed tree. Spirit of God, give us eyes to see the Lord Jesus here and hearts to trust Him, rejoice in Him, and devote ourselves to Him who devoted Himself to us from everlasting.
Why couldn’t Darius deliver Daniel from the lions’ den? He greatly desired to do so. He loved Daniel; but Daniel had broken the king’s law. If he did not execute the sentence of the law upon Daniel, if he simply issued a pardon to the object of his love, King Darius would have had to disown his own degree, disgracing himself and promoting utter chaos throughout the realm. The law of the Medes and Persians would have become a mockery; and the king could no longer have been trusted or feared. That was Darius’ dilemma. The law had to be honored. Justice had to be satisfied. The crime had to be punished. Yet, “the king…set his heart on Daniel to deliver him;” but he could not do so. Daniel must go to the lions’ den.
Darius’ dilemma shows us the necessity of our blessed Savior’s sin-atoning sacrifice as our Substitute. It portrays the necessity of atonement by the shedding of His precious blood.
Did you ever ask yourself, “Why did the Lord Jesus have to die at Calvary?” If He died to show us His great love for us, surely He could have done so without going to the cross? My wife and family know my love for them. Love can be shown and known in many ways. Some will say, “Christ died for us to save us from our sins.” That is certainly true. But why did the Lord Jesus have to die upon the cursed tree to save us from our sins? God the Holy Spirit tells us plainly. — The Lord God sacrificed His darling Son upon the cursed tree to declare “His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
We are the rightful subjects of an absolute Monarch — “the living God,” the mighty Monarch of the universe. He has issued good laws for the regulation of our hearts and lives, laws with a just, but a dreadful penalty. — “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). We have broken God’s holy law in every point. Its penalty we have earned. —“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). How can we be delivered? God cannot deny Himself. He cannot disgrace Himself. He cannot bring dishonor upon His holy law. He cannot and will not set aside His holy law. Is there no hope for fallen, sinful, guilty sinners like you and me?
Yes, blessed be His holy name forever, Jehovah found a way to save His people from their sins. In great wisdom and grace, He declares concerning His chosen “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24). What Darius could not do for Daniel, God has done for His elect. He has devised a way in which His holy law is honored while its penalty is remitted. By the voluntary sufferings and death of His dear Son in our place, God’s broken law has been fully honored and satisfied, and every sinner who trusts the Lord Jesus is forgiven of all sin. He who is God our Savior is “a just God and a Savior” (Isaiah 45:21).