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Jesus: Our Everlasting


Hope: The ‘Son of Man’ and His Everlasting Throne

Tuesday, December 5 | by Dr. Blake Killingsworth

Today's Reading

Daniel 7:9-14

The passage we read today is coming at the end of one of the most popular passages as Daniel sees a vision of four great beasts, which we are told in the passage represent kingdoms and kings that were to come.

Before stepping into eschatological matters (i.e., end-times stuff), I want us to step back and imagine Daniel's emotional state as he experienced this vision. There he is, exiled from his homeland and under a new king in Babylon, lying in bed, and a vision began to appear to him, so vivid that he was able to write it all down.

Before he has a chance to catch his breath, he sees the beasts coming out of the sea, each more unbelievable than the other. They had horns, were tearing flesh, crushing their victims, and boastfully proclaiming their superiority. Can you imagine the adrenaline that must have come up within Daniel? The potential fear and probable confusion. "What am I looking at?" he must have thought, and "Am I even safe?"

Against the beasts sat the Ancient of Days, whose power and might easily vanquish the beasts. At this sight, Daniel must have had relief and perhaps even more confusion, especially as a new character came on the scene. But this new figure was dramatically different than the beasts.

Instead of some monstrosity, "one like a son of man" arrived. Instead of rising up from the sea, the newcomer came from the clouds. And unlike the way the beasts approached the Ancient of Days, the Son of Man calmly walked to the throne and was invited into His presence. Even more, He was lauded with praise from all people and all nations, and He was given dominion over all the world to last forever and ever. (cf. Philippians 2:10-11)

Think back to Daniel and his mindset. Fear came first, then confusion. I imagine that upon seeing the Son of Man coming from the clouds, Daniel must have sensed some level of peace.

As Daniel came out of the dream, he states that he remained "deeply troubled," and his "face turned pale," but I wonder why that is the case. Perhaps because he still didn't understand the dream. Maybe he worried about the turmoil to come. Or it was so much to take in at one sitting.

But I don't imagine that he was troubled at the prospect of the coming Son of Man. Why? Because from that stage forward, the people of Israel anticipated with great hope the Messiah that was to come. Living as refugees around the known world, the Jews latched onto the hope of One who could arrive and lay hold of a throne for them that would never go away.

They looked to the clouds for the arrival of the Son of Man. And in Mark 14:62, Jesus identified Himself as that figure. Against the Sanhedrin and all their accusations about whether he claimed to be the Christ, Jesus told them, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

The Sanhedrin believed His words to be blasphemy. But for those who believe, they know His words to be true. The hoped-for Son of Man, whose Kingdom would reign forever and ever, had arrived.

God is a God of plans. He knows what He is doing, and at no time does He have to abandon a vision because circumstances have "changed." He is in charge, and He is in control.

The Ancient of Days remains seated on His throne, and He has established Jesus as the ruler of all. This Christmas season, as we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus, let's celebrate not only the arrival of the baby but also the fulfillment of the hope of the coming of the Son of Man. Behold your hope, the Son of Man, full of all power and authority, lying in a manger! Let's celebrate both the fulfillment of the prophecy of His first arrival as well as the fulfillment of the hope that He will one day return as the kingdoms of the world will bow at His feet.

Dr. Blake Killingsworth serves as Dean of the Cook School of Leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

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