From Weeping to Life
March 25, 2023
"God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun."
"He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?'”
Ezekiel 37:1-2 (The Message)
Can these bones live again?
It is the old question. It is new. It is real, It is ours.
We own it.
Even our own bones seem and feel dried up, but the bones around us ...
Oh, the bones around us!
We can psych ourselves up artificially and temporarily and we can walk around, but their bones have no visible life. And, when we are truthful with ourselves, we understand that our days of faking it through life are numbered.
It is when we speak to the dry bones around us that we know it is Spirit that brings life.
This is spiritual work and this is hopeful work.
We do little but speak. God breathes and when God breathes, life happens.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
“…"I am the resurrection and the life…” – John 11:25
Can these bones live again?
That was the question was posed to Ezekiel in the Valley of Dried Bones.
If a man dies, can he live again?
Job wrestles with that question.
If you had been here, my brother would still be alive is the plea of Martha for Lazarus. And she reiterates that she knows God will answer any prayer he prays.
Jesus tells the sisters that their brother will, in fact, live again.
Martha thinks he is talking about some time in the far-off future, the Day of Resurrection in the Last Day.
Last Day hope is real and powerful and permanent, but Jesus was present in the moment.
So, Jesus proclaims, “I AM!”
“I AM the resurrection and the life” in the present, right now, right here.
"Jesus wept." - John 11:36
No two words are as precious as these.
The Lord of glory so identified with our suffering that He came to weep with us - and those tears led directly through Jerusalem and His triumphant entry on Palm Sunday to the Mount of Olives where He prayed through the agony of humanity, to the cross where He bore our sins.
Our Savior weeps with us and for us. He knows our sorrows and cares. And His heart is broken over every lost soul. “Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Yet, life was and is active and prevailing wherever Jesus is.
Those who live, live forever in him even if they die.
He proves it. He walks to the grave with tears in his eyes and confidence in his voice.
He stares into the heart of death and cries out, “Lazarus, come forth.”
And Lazarus comes forth.
Jesus is the present, active, overcoming, all-powerful Lord of life and death.
He is the resurrection. He is life.
He who lives and believes in him, shall never truly die.
So, what is this life that comes out of a three-day inhabited tomb?
"Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?'" - John 11:25-26
Long before spring, God says there will be spring.
Even before his dying, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection.”
To make it plain he declares, “I am the life!”
To make it personal, he asks if we believe.
When it is still winter, God gives us signs of the coming of sunshiny days whose power would be less if it were not for the death and preparation that winter brings.
The God who is present in the here and now, present in our less-than-ideal circumstances, and very near to us in time of trouble knows more about the promise of tomorrow than we do.
He knows that there is a better day ahead.
He knows because he is making a better day and he will make sure it happens!
In the middle of winter, God is fashioning spring.
God is giving the hibernating creatures rest and he intends to awaken them.
God is giving the dormant vegetation time to germinate and recuperate.
God is preparing a springtime like nothing we can imagine.
In the meantime, he gives us clues and previews.
While it is still winter, we stumble upon a sign of new life and we are reminded that a new day is coming.
Shirley Erena Murray wrote:
Beauty will break through rotted leaves and ashes,
joy will erupt and
life will leap free!
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. - John 17:3
Fullness of Life - It is life in its completeness of significance, purpose, joy, and fulfillment..
Faith in the Lord of Life - It is believing and trusting, and knowing God in Jesus Christ.
Forever Living - It is life that endures and never ends. It defies death. It transcends death. It transforms death
It is yours for receiving.