Monday, October 14, 2013

Den Of Lions (part 2)

When it came to Daniel and those that are reported to be his adversaries, with jealousy presumed to be the reason for their ugly and unjust disposition towards him, “they were unable to find any such damaging evidence, because he was trustworthy and guilty of no negligence or corruption” (6:4b).  As this is found to be true of Daniel, so it is found to be true of Jesus as well.  Though this analysis need not get too far ahead itself, one only need consider the witnesses at the “trial” of Jesus, who attempted to bring forth condemning accusations and testimony. 

Ultimately, as had been the case with Daniel, their testimony was found to be lacking, though ultimately those adversaries (in both cases) would be successful in that the objects of their respective accusations would be sentenced to death.  In the case of Jesus, plans were hatched and attempts were made to get Him to speak against the Temple, or against the Roman government, or against the Mosaic Law, but all proved futile.  Indeed, Jesus was trustworthy, and could not be found to be guilty of negligence or corruption by which he could be challenged or damaged in any way. 

Having failed to gather any credible evidence against Daniel, “these men concluded, ‘We won’t find any pretext against this man Daniel unless it is in connection with the law of his God.’” (6:5)  Ultimately, this would be the path traveled in the plot to take down Jesus, with the accusation of blasphemy against Israel’s God.  Jesus would be said to have made Himself equal with the Creator God, and would thereby be subject to the attendant demand for death associated with a conviction related to that charge.  However, those that sought to bring death to Jesus were not in a position to carry out that death penalty, so a case had to be made to those who could do so (the Romans).  To that end, Jesus was taken before Pilate. 

Before going any further, it needs to be said that the value in constructs such as the one here being made is that Jesus, as He (as it would be imagined) diligently searched the Scriptures and pondered the ultimate validity of the method that He would employ to bring in the kingdom of God---that being suffering to vindication (exile to exodus), may have found stories with that theme highly instructive for the purpose of what He seemed to have believed was His mission.  Stories such as Daniel could very well have provided Him with guidance, strength, and sustenance for the path that He believed lay ahead of Him.  In this way, He could develop the trust that the God that had been the God of deliverance for a faithful Israelite such as Daniel, would also be the God of deliverance for Him as well. 

Continuing to explore this story of Daniel, one finds that “these supervisors and satraps came by collusion to the king and said to him, ‘O King Darius, live forever!’” (6:6).  After this bit of customary flattery, they continued on and said “To all the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counselors, and governors it seemed like a good idea for a royal edict to be issued and an interdict to be enforced.  For the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human other than you, O king, should be thrown into a den of lions” (6:7).  Finally, to this was added, “Now let the king issue a written interdict so that it cannot be altered, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed” (6:8). 

Quite understandably, as these individuals had successfully appealed to human vanity, “King Darius issued the written interdict” (6:9).  With this, he has ironically and unwittingly put in jeopardy the life of the very one that he had intended to appoint over the entire kingdom (a classic hero tale). 

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