“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…
“Again he said to me, Prophesy upon these bones and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord…Behold I cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live…and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
The message of the gospel is not one of reformation but of transformation. Christianity is not about resolutions, but reconstitutions. The message is not one of a better life, although a better life will result from Christ’s teachings alone, it is about a new life. It is the message of a life inside the life of Christ.
Ezekiel stood in a valley of dead men’s bones, bones so long forgotten that they were bleached and dried. With a spoken word, reminiscent of creation, they returned to living, breathing, flesh and blood.
The good news of the gospel is that those dead, withered and dried up in rebellion against God can, by a Word already spoken, live a new, everlasting life, at peace with God, directed by His Spirit, and empowered by His Son.
I don’t know what became of those who lived by Ezekiel’s prophesy. I don’t know what they felt or what was expected of them. I’m sure it is an interesting story one I imagine myself telling one day.
Poor example though I may be, I do know what it feels like to be resurrected to new life in Christ. I also know what is expected of me. In a strict sense, it is not the keeping of commandments. Rather is a freely given love for God and for my fellow human beings.
That kind of love is not a replacement for the commandments, but the motivation and the outcome of them all. I am not good at that yet. As I said, I’m a poor example to follow. I am on my way to a perfect realization of God’s love acted out in flesh and blood.
The price is steep, the way is hard, and the truth hurts but...
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for a moment, worketh for us a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.