and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.”
Listen to the descriptions of appearance. “The first like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle…(the) second beast, looked like a bear. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth…another beast looked like a leopard. This
beast had four heads…There was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening. It had large iron teeth.” If that’s not enough, consider their actions (how they become king and ruled their kingdoms). One beast was told “get up and
eat your fill of flesh.” Another “crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.”
Then comes the climax. The kings that have failed to rule and govern as true humanity are judged. Daniel waits and watches. We wait and watch. “And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man.” The description of this one could not be more diametrically opposite of the descriptions that preceded it. All of creation and humanity rejoices. Genesis 1, Exodus 19, Psalm 2, Isaiah 53, the message of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and many other scenes in God’s story rush over us—through our minds and fill our hearts—as we behold one who is now described as being what Adam was not, what Israel had failed to be (the people are in exile), and what the rest of the nations could not be. Towards the end of John’s account of the story of Jesus, Pilate presents Jesus to the Jews and states “Here is the man.” And we reply, “Yes.” That’s our King.
Do you want to know what it looks like to truly be human? Look at the cross.
Do you want to know how a lasting kingdom is established? Look at the cross.