Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for this daily challenge. It’s Thursday, the day we try to apply and live out what we’ve learned this week from the Bible. This week we’ve been studying a vision in the Book of Daniel, where we get a glimpse of how God, the Ancient of Days, will someday rescue the Israelites from oppression, through the work of a Son of Man, who we’ve since seen Jesus wanted us to associate with him.
So if Jesus is the Son of Man, what happens? God takes power away from the terrible beasts who abuse it in this world, and gives it to Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, to rule over an eternal kingdom that will never be destroyed.
Now, Daniel’s vision had both present and future applications. In the present, God was speaking about actual geopolitical events in their region – the power of evil rulers would be taken away, and God wouldn’t let them win, but would send a leader for the Jews. But there was also a future promise of a Messiah, the son of man, a good king who would represent their whole nation, and govern them with holy and God-given wisdom and power.
But Jesus also adds something to the image of the son of man – suffering – with references to the suffering servant we learned about in Isaiah. He was going to accomplish this through great suffering – sacrificing his life for his people’s freedom. His kingdom, established through suffering, would be quite a contrast to those kingdoms of violence that he destroyed.
And in the same way, Jesus’ work on earth had both a present and future connection to this story. He has set into motion his kingdom, the kingdom of God, but it’s not yet here in its fullness. He’s begun the destruction of evil’s power, handing it over to Jesus Christ. There is still evil, sin and death in our world. Their power is limited, however, and will be stripped away from them when God’s kingdom comes into full effect, and the beast of sin and death and Satan is completely destroyed. His return or second coming is described in Revelation and Matthew as a coming in the clouds, just like the Son of Man in this story.
Until then, this is something we’re called to seek, to look for as we go about our lives, and to join in when we find it. We can rise above the scariest things that seem to have all the power in our world, knowing their power will be taken away when evil is finally destroyed.
Challenge: How do you react to wild, scary, beastly forces in this world, and in your life? What does this week’s reading tell you about their power relative to God? When faced with evil, what can you say or do to confront it and diminish its power over you?