Lent Devotional: Ezekiel 37:1-14
by Jonathan Haefs
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (click here)
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live… and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone…
“Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people…
And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live… Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”
(Ezekiel 37 selected verses)
What is your story?
Mine is pretty boring. A pastor’s kid… raised in the church… no crazy rebellion… good family… married young… blah, blah, blah!
I mean, it isn’t the stuff movies are made of now is it? Perhaps you feel the same? Perhaps you hear other people’s testimonies of amazing works that God has done in their life and you’re left thinking, “I wish that was me. My story just seems kind of lame.”
I have those same thoughts all the time, but the Gospel declares those thoughts to be a lie!
You and I have an amazing story. Every Christian has an incredible story… because our story is one of resurrection!
You were dead… then Jesus… now you live!
Ezekiel 37 vividly recounts the story of all God’s people as a resurrection story. In context, the people of God were in exile. As a nation, they seemed to be finished… like nothing more than a valley of dried up bones.
God promised to resurrect them and bring them back to their land. He would reestablish his people! And it would be God’s accomplishment of this seemingly impossible task that would cause his people to know him! They would be unable to deny him as God, for he alone could raise their nation from the grave!
This promise, this story comes to its fullest fulfillment in Jesus Christ! He redeems God’s people from every tribe and nation and tongue… he redeems us from our exile in sin to bring us home to him!
We were all dead, a valley of dry bones, and only by the Spirit of God giving us new life could we come to faith in Christ! God alone can do this! And it is precisely because he alone can do this that he says, “…you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.”
This is your story! You were dead and now you live! If you love Jesus, then you know this is what has happened because it couldn’t happen any other way! God alone can raise dead hearts to life in Christ!
Your story isn’t boring or lame and neither is mine! This is my story… A pastor’s kid… raised in the church… dead in sin… God raised me from the dead through Christ… I’m a child of the king… God is my inheritance and joy… along with the saints I will inherit the world… I am Jesus’ and Jesus is mine… joy, joy, joy!
What is your story?