17 August 2009

Jesus in the Lions' Den

Tonight for his animal story as we lay in his bed Zachary made his most frequent request--Daniel and the lions. I've told that story dozens of times this past year. Tonight was the first time I didn't teach it moralistically.

Usually I tell Zach the story and emphasize that Daniel feared God more than men; that's why he prayed his usual prayers despite the new law prohibiting it. Which is true, of course. But tonight it dawned on me, and I explained to Zach, that the reason Daniel could disobey the king and obey God, the reason beneath the deeper fear of God, the reason Daniel was spared, was that there was someone who was thrown into a den of lions and torn to shreds. When Jesus went to the cross, he was punished so that you and I can know that whether we are spared the lions or eaten, it can only be for our good, out of love over us, not for our punishment, out of wrath over us. Daniel prayed in his room, and was thrown into the den, but spared--only because Jesus prayed in the garden, was denied and thrown into the den, and not spared.

No comments: