Daniel in the lion’s den is probably the most well known story from the book of Daniel, and one of the most well known of the whole Bible. God’s power to save those who are faithful to him is illustrated supremely in this story. This story is important as we make our way to the birth of Jesus, because Daniel’s story parallels in many ways what occurred in the life of Jesus.
How are the two similar? Just as they conspired against Daniel, so the leaders conspired against Jesus to have him put to death. They looked for some way to convict Daniel by the law, just as the leaders did with Jesus. The political leaders at the time, Darius and Pilate, tried unsuccessfully to save Daniel and Jesus. Both Daniel and Jesus trusted in God to deliver them. Both came out of the pit, Daniel out of the literal pit, Jesus out of the figurative pit of death.
But Jesus is even greater than Daniel. Jesus was far more blameless than Daniel, perfect and without sin. Daniel was saved from death, but Jesus actually died, rose, and lives forever for us. Daniel was exalted in his kingdom, but God has highly exalted Jesus and given him a name above every name, “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10–11). This is the Jesus we worship at Christmas!