Coming with the Clouds of Heaven

Daniel 7

     Some words can get you in trouble.  Some words can get you beat up.  Others, in the right situation, can even get you killed!  You might be surprised to know that merely quoting some words from Daniel chapter 7 once got someone killed. How?  When?  It was only a few hours before Jesus’ death on the cross.  Jesus was being examined before the high priest.  They were attempting to find some guilt in Jesus.  They wanted a reason to condemn Him.  Finally, in Matthew 26:63, the high priest demanded of Jesus, “…tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God…”  Jesus answered, “…you have said it yourself; nevertheless, I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven….”  Essentially, Jesus confirmed that He was the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of Man described in the book of Daniel chapter 7.  As a result of this confession, the high priest concluded in Matthew 26:66, “He deserves death!”  So, as I said, the words of Daniel 7 can get you in trouble.  For the words of Daniel 7 are still revolutionary and they still challenge the current world order.  They are dangerous and threatening words for those who would defy the will of God.

     Jesus, as He appeared before the high priest, quoted in part from Daniel 7:13: “….and behold with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming…..”  Daniel 7:14 continues to describe the Son of Man, “…and to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”   The early Christians thought this was an important verse.  It was directly quoted or referenced several times in the New Testament (Revelation 1:7, Matthew 24:30).  Even before the birth of Jesus, Daniel 7 was thought to be a prophecy of the coming Messiah.   Jesus even used the term “Son of Man” to speak about Himself throughout the Gospels.  Daniel chapter 7 describes a series of empires that will rise and fall.  Some of what Daniel described is now history for us.  However, there is yet to arise another terrifying empire in the time of the end.  This is the empire which the Son of Man will vanquish at His second coming in glory.  Even the mightiest of empires will fail, but the kingdom of God and of His Messiah will stand forever.  

As we enter this Advent season, we see Daniel 7 as evidence that God keeps His promises.  Jesus was born.  He lived.  He taught us the good word of God.  He died for our sins.  He was raised to immortality.  He sits at God’s right hand. He is coming again to reward those who believe in Him and to punish the wicked.

-Scott Deane

Today’s Bible reading plan passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Daniel 7 & 8 and Psalm 145-147

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