Once again the most wonderful opportunity to glorify you was missed! The sermon text was Daniel chapter 10. I don’t know how a more detailed description of you could have been given in a sermon text. Yet I’m not aware that even one heart was drawn to you in wonder. We were reduced to marveling at an angel and angelic warfare!
The appearance of the man or angel Daniel saw, whoever he was, was remarkably similar to how John described you in Revelation chapter 1. I know you’re aware of this. The similarities were unmistakable! It had to be more than a coincidence. Yet no one seemed to notice. Strangely, not even a word was said about it in the sermon. How could someone pass by and not see you in the text?
Daniel saw “a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold” (Dan. 10:5). In Revelation 1 John saw “one like the Son of man clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle” (v.13). Daniel said, “His body was like a beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning; his eyes as lamps of fire, his arms and feet like the color of polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (v.6). John’s description of you continued to reflect Daniel’s in a number of ways: “His countenance was as the sun shines in his strength…His head and His hair were like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; His feet like brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:14-16).
After he saw the man, Daniel said, “there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption…I was in a deep sleep on my face, and my face was toward the ground” (v.8,9). When John saw you, he said, “I fell at His feet as dead” (v.17).
When others fell at the feet of an angel or mere man they were told to get up (Rev. 19:10; 22:8,9; Acts 10:25,26). But both Daniel and John fell in spontaneous prostration before a much greater being (like the officers from the chief priests fell before you in the garden in John 18:3-6). John was “as dead.” Daniel’s “comeliness was turned into corruption.” This reminds me of the response of Isaiah when, in the presence of God, he said, “I am undone” (Isa. 6:5). According to John, Isaiah may have also seen you, the pre-incarnate Son of God, at that time (as John wrote in John 12:3-6).
Then Daniel said, “A hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands…Then said he to me, Fear not, Daniel” (v.10,12). In a similar way you laid your right hand on John and said to him, “Fear not” (v.17).
The one who stood before Daniel told him, “I am come to make you understand what will befall your people in the latter days” (v.14). When you stood before John, you told him, “I will show you things which must be hereafter” (Rev. 4:1; 1:19), things which he was to “write in a book and send to the seven churches in Asia” (1:11).
Daniel described the appearance of the one before him as “one like the similitude of the sons of men” (v.16). This resembled how you were identified by him in chapter 7 (v.13). In fact, “Son of man” was a title you were fond of, one that John also used at the beginning of his description of you in Revelation chapter 1 (v.13).
Even the “sharp two-edged sword” John saw emerge from your mouth (Rev. 1:16) matched “the Scripture of truth” spoken of by the one who appeared to Daniel (10:21).
And, as in the opening words of the book of Revelation: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show His servants things which must shortly come to pass” (1:1), which were revealed in the rest of the book, so it was in Daniel’s vision. The one who appeared to him revealed in the chapters that followed (11 and 12) those things and people that were going to draw a spotlight across the stage of history and eternity (10:21; 11:2).
The similarities continued. Did anyone else see them? Daniel was a “man greatly beloved” (v.11,19), John “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26). Daniel was told, “Peace be unto you” (v.19). These were familiar words to your disciples (John 20:19-21,26; 14:27).
And if anyone argues that the man in Daniel’s vision could not be you because “the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood [him] one and twenty days” (v.13), maybe they have forgotten how Satan withstood you while you were on earth (Rev. 12:3,4; Matt. 2:19,20; 4:1-11; 16:21-23; John 13:2,24-27; Luke 22:52). This was not uncommon for you. The one in Daniel’s vision said, “Michael…came to help me” (v.13; also in v.21). Angels ministered to you after Satan tested you (Matt. 4:11). When you were betrayed, your Father could have given you more than twelve legions of angels to defend you (Matt. 26:53). And, as in Daniel 10:13,21, when you went to the right hand it was “Michael” who “fought against the dragon” (Rev. 12:7) in your behalf.
Maybe someday you will be the hero in someone’s sermon. I’m longing for that, Lord Jesus. Maybe you and I must knock at the church door together.
(Second of four personal letters written in October-December 2011.)
© James Unruh 2015 and beyond