And so in the very first chapter of Daniel we find the story of Christmas, and in the second chapter we find Easter. Did you see it? Did you hear it?
Asked to do the impossible, the wise men rely on themselves, their power and cunning. But these are not enough to suffice the king. He wants them to not only interpret his dream, but to tell him what it was in the first place. “No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans,” they cry. In Babylon, the idea of a god of Incarnation was foreign to them. That a god might come and live among humans was anathema. But for Daniel and friends, God had always lived with His people. From the burning bush to the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple itself, God had dwelt with His people. And then hundreds of years later, God made this manifest in the clearest way He knew how, through Jesus Christ. In the Incarnation, God dwelt among us, or in the words of John’s prologue, “God tabernacled with us,” which means He pitched His tent among us. This is Christmas.
So, having relied on their own abilities, these wise men face death from their own king. But Daniel steps in and calmly takes their place before the king, revealing the Truth of God and saving their lives from death. And hundreds of years later, Jesus would stand in our place and save us from death. This is Easter.
It’s amazing that God’s story has been consistent since the beginning of time, and that He would reveal His plans to people like us. If, that is, we are able and willing to listen.