Reflections: December 17, 2020
Daniel the Prophet and the Three Young Men
By Bradley Drew
And I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." (Revelation 5:4-5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. December 17th marks the commemoration of the Prophet Daniel and the Three Young Men. The Book of Daniel tells how God rescued Daniel from the lion's den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. What were these men doing in such places? The answer gets to the heart of this day: Jesus.
In Revelation's typical picturesque-style language, Jesus is revealed as the One in control of everything. Not fate. Not chance. Not evil powers or regimes. Not even sin or Satan. Jesus. That's the truth we are comforted with when we see it is only Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who is found worthy to take possession of the seven-sealed scroll and reveal its contents.
Sin, evil people, the devil himself may have created places like the lion's den and fiery furnaces. But the only plans and purposes such places can carry out now are the Lord's, not theirs. Fear not. Jesus has His hand over all of it. He holds everything from yesterday, everything from today, and everything from tomorrow in His careful nail-scarred hands. Even lion's dens and fiery furnaces.
Why is Jesus alone worthy of such power? "For You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9b). Why has the Father put everything in Jesus' hands alone? Because Jesus alone died for you upon the Cross, forever ransoming you from all your sin, from your own death, and from the devil. God's not going to lose you now! That is why He has put Jesus in charge. For you.
Like Daniel, or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you do not need to fear. Jesus has this. He has you. In fact, that's His promise to you now and every day in His Word, in His water and at His Supper. No matter the lions or the fire, the dens or the furnaces--He's got you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord God, heavenly Father, You rescued Daniel from the lions' den and the three young men from the fiery furnace through the miraculous intervention of an angel. Save us now through the presence of Jesus, the Lion of Judah, who has conquered all our enemies through His blood and taken away all our sins as the Lamb of God, who now reigns from His heavenly throne with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Feast of the Prophet Daniel and the Three Young Men)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
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