• on January 22, 2018

Making All Things New: From Bones to Living

Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

Everyone has gone through those times when we have nothing left to give spiritually.  For some, it was during times of sincerely struggling with sin.  While we worked tirelessly to conquer the plague of sin yet ultimately kept returning to that same sin.  Others sought to express their faith in every day living and became exhausted at the constant battle between flesh and spirit. Everyone though, walks through seasons of striving to perform spiritually and failing in the process.  Our own actions, our own strength cannot sustain us nor can it produce salvation in us.  It can only leave us dead, spiritually and eternally.  God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel regarding this similar issue.  The image is one of despair and death.  God takes Ezekiel to the middle of a valley and stands him in the midst of the result of death and decay.  Ezekiel walked through the valley full of bones taking note of the apparent death that was all around him.

 

‘Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord ! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord .’ ” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them.

Ezekiel 37:4-8, NIV

While one of the most quotes verses of Ezekiel, its familiarity tends to glaze over the full depth of the passage.  We often are able to intellectually understand the idea of dry bones will rise and walk again.  We picture images of skeletons standing up like cheap halloween specials but miss the significance of where we are in this story.  As God shows Ezekiel the dry bones, God asks “Can these dry bones live?”  Ezekiel while answering God, undoubtedly came to the same understanding and fear that we all face.  We come to understand that we are the dry bones and fear that the answer is no.

Coming Alive by The Gospel

The feeling of spiritually and emotionally dead is devastating.  There simply is nothing that you are able to do.  All the energy you have is spent on merely existing.  Getting out of bed is difficult.  Going to work takes every ounce of strength.  Pursuing God seems like a lost cause.  The true, honest feeling of dead inside is absolutely debilitating.  In this moment, the effects of sin manifest themselves outward and the spiritual death that results from sin can be experienced.  Sin kills us.  We become not only bones, but dry bones that have been dead for a while, having been fully dried out.  Yet, for the dry bones, death is not the end of the story, but rather only the beginning.

God's intervention in our life has the ability to take us in our death and make us come alive fully to the life and purpose we were intended to live. Click To Tweet

God’s intervention in our life has the ability to take us in our death and make us come alive fully to the life and purpose we were intended to live. Where our sin left us dead, Jesus brought us to life.  Though we strove on our own strength to revive ourselves, the dead cannot raise themselves. Only when God intervenes are we able to find the life we were able to find.  Furthermore, we were not alone.  No sin we have is unknown to God and each and everyone one of us desperately needs the life giving words of the Gospel.  However spiritually dead we may feel, God has come to give life to the dead and secure their place in heaven.  Our God gives us flesh for our bones.  He gives us breath for our lungs.  He fulfills our purpose and restores us to right relationship with Him.  We go from dry bones to fully living.

Speak to The Dry Bones

God tells Ezekiel to proclaim the the word of the Lord to the dry bones.  By the grace and power of God to proclaim life to those who are irreparably dead, the dry bones were reformed according to their true purpose and fulfillment.  We have been changed and renewed by the mighty word of God.  Now, we have the same charge as Ezekiel; go speak to the dead.  The world is filled with those who have spiritually succumbed to the death of sin.  There are people who desperately need to hear that they are no longer stuck in their sin or pain but that a new life awaits them.  The struggles we have faced while deadly are not terminal and there is life beyond our sinful actions.  Death, for the Christian is not the end.  Our God has defeated death so that we would not have to face it.

The power of speaking the true, authentic Gospel is those who are dead will come alive from the power of Christ who conquered death itself. Click To Tweet

Proclaiming the Gospel to the world is not about fear our popularity, whether people will judge us, this is an issue of speaking life to death.  At times, we will be judged.  The power of speaking the true, authentic Gospel is those who are dead will come alive from the power of Christ who conquered death itself. We have the honor of representing Christ to the world through our thoughts, words, and deeds.  It is one thing to walk through a valley of dry bones.  It is another to know that was once us and we have been plucked out of the grips of death.  Now, we have the charge to speak true life to the world.  Where we were once hurting, we have been healed.  Now we bear the message that Jesus Christ saves everyone from death through his sacrifice on the cross.

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