Reflections: November 26, 2020
Thursday of the Last Week
By Aaron Fenker
The king spoke up and said to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God, whom you serve continually, able to save you from the lions?" Then Daniel spoke with the king, "Long live the king! My God sent His angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions, and they didn't harm me. All because of this: I was found innocent before Him, and also before you, O king, I have done no harm." (Daniel 6:20-23)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Daniel was as good as dead. He was a son of Israel, a worshiper of the true God. He prayed and was condemned to death. King Darius had been tricked into condemning one of his best and closest advisors. Accused by his fellow rulers, he was locked inside that lions' den overnight, never to come out again. But thanks be to God, he did come out again.
In a foreign land, Daniel loved and served a foreign king. He didn't just skirt by but served his neighbor well. Daniel wasn't saved because of this but was given eternal salvation as a free gift. Innocent because of the sacrifice of the coming Savior. It sounds like following God means He will save you from dying if you're good enough. He will certainly care for the body and life He's gifted to you, but that's not what this story's about. As Jesus tells the Pharisees, "You search the Scriptures for you think that in them you possess eternal life, and it is they that testify about Me" (John 5:39). That's Daniel in the lions' den in spades!
What happened in Daniel 6 plays out again some 580 years later. The women go to the tomb, expecting to find a dead Jesus, but that's not what they find at all. Jesus wasn't just as good as dead, He was dead! But then He wasn't. God raised Him from the dead, and there was even an angel there to announce it.
What happened to Jesus will certainly happen to you. You've earned death because of your sin, but Jesus shed His blood for you. Now you, like Daniel, are found innocent before your heavenly Father. That's all yours in Baptism. Rejoice in the story of Daniel. It's a picture of Jesus' resurrection and yours. "Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." (Matthew 28:5-6)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
Reflections: January 1, 2021This Just In: The Ultimate ResolutionReflections: January 2, 2021Reflections: January 3, 2021Reflections: January 4, 2021Video Short: January 5, 2021Video Short: January 4, 2021Reflections: January 5, 2021Reflections: January 6, 2021Video Short: January 6, 2021Under the Cross: Don't Look at the ListReflections: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 8, 2021Reflections: January 8, 2021Dean's List: The Catechism Really Is for YouReflections: January 9, 2021Reflections: January 10, 2021Reflections: January 11, 2021Video Short: January 11, 2021Helpful Things: Fundraising Essentials FOR YOUReflections: January 13, 2021Video Short: January 12, 2021Reflections: January 12, 2021Video Short: January 13, 2021Reflections: January 14, 2021Video Short: January 14, 2021Under the Cross: You Don't Belong to This WorldReflections: January 15, 2021Video Short: January 15, 2021Reflections: January 16, 2021Reflections: January 17, 2021Reflections: January 18, 2021Video Short: January 18, 2021This Just In: Martin Luther King, Jr.--The Man Who Had a DreamReflections: January 19, 2021Video Short: January 19, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint SebastianReflections: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 22, 2021Reflections: January 23, 2021Video Short: January 22, 2021Dean's List: Jesus Hits the Spot!Reflections: January 24, 2021Reflections: January 25, 2021Reflections: January 26, 2021Video Short: The Conversion of St. PaulHelpful Things: Effective Fundraising Through Midweek MealsVideo Short: Suffering Doesn't Mean God Doesn't Love YouReflections: January 27, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Karma, Karma, KarmaVideo Short: Abortion and the Church's WorkReflections: January 28, 2021Reflections: January 29, 2021Video Short: What Goes On In Your Pastor's Mind About Closed CommunionFoundations: You Need Your Pastor More Than EverReflections: January 30, 2021Reflections: January 31, 2021
Reflections: February 1, 2021Video Short: Stretching Out To RepentVideo Short: Parable of Those Gifted in the VineyardReflections: February 2, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint Blaise of SebasteSpeaking of Faith: The Liturgy Is Tried and True EvangelismReflections: February 3, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday De-platformingReflections: February 4, 2021Video Short: Hearing Law and GospelVideo Short: The Anti-Catholic ParadoxDean's List: Called to ServeReflections: February 5, 2021Reflections: February 6, 2021Reflections: February 7, 2021Reflections: February 8, 2021Video Short: Ears on the Sower... And the SeedReflections: February 9, 2021Helpful Things: Sex, Sexuality, and BaptismVideo Short: The Simple Definition of Faith That Will Rescue You From Your DoubtsReflections: February 10, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Wokeism and ChristianityVideo Short: What Your Pastor Thinks When Preaching the LawReflections: February 11, 2021Reflections: February 12, 2021Video Short: Valentines and LoveUnder the Cross: Valentine's Day StinksReflections: February 13, 2021Reflections: February 14, 2021Reflections: February 15, 2021Video Short: Lent is Almost HereVideo Short: Lent For Evangelical ChristiansReflections: February 16, 2021Welcome to Lent - Supplement to the ReflectionsVideo Short: How to Fast in LentReflections: February 17, 2021Reflections: February 18, 2021Video Short: Lutherans Aren't the Cult of LutherReflections: February 19, 2021