In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar issued a command that was binding on every citizen in the Babylonian empire. The command was that each person was to worship an image of gold the king had commissioned made. Three young Hebrew men refused to comply to the command. They had good reason to resist but in the end they were in open rebellion to the command of the king. Their disobedience to the word of the king enraged Nebuchadnezzar. His wrath was kindled against these three rebels. The king determined that his wrath would be poured out upon these three by heating a furnace seven times hotter than it had ever been heated before , have them thrown in, and let them feel the wrath of an angry and disrespected king.
As the king looks in the furnace, fully expecting the three burning and in pain, he sees four instead of three. The fourth, he says, looks like the Son of God. The three were brought out of the furnace and they were completely unharmed. No burns, no singed hair, no smell of smoke, and the ropes that confined them burned away. It is clear that the presence of this forth individual protected the three from the wrath of the king. It is recorded that the three Hebrews came out of the furnace but it never does mention the fourth man coming out.
What a wonderful picture this is of the salvation of those who trust Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ we are spared the awful wrath of the King in which we have offended and rebelled. We are unharmed while Jesus receives the full force of the wrath intended for us. We are made free while he hangs on the cross enduring the punishment meant for us. We live and are not crushed by the wrath of God because the fourth man, Jesus Christ was crushed in our place.