Exposition of Ezekiel (19): The New Exodus and the Resurrection
The New Exodus and the Resurrection - Exposition of Ezekiel (part 19)
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge November 18, 2007 (Ezekiel ch. 29-37)
Release from Egypt - We have seen that after the judgment of the house of God, seven nations are judged: Ammon, 25:1-7, Moab, 25:8-11, Edom, 25:12-14, Philistia, 25:15-17, Tyre, 26:1-28:19, Sidon 28:20-24 and then seven oracles against, Egypt, 29-32. Egypt was a problem from Abraham to the Exile. After Egypt is sent “down to the pit” (32:18), God promises to give Israel a new Shepherd (34:22), baptize her with clean water (36:24), take her to the Land to build a new temple. This pattern is very recognizable as The Exodus Pattern. A New Exodus is not possible until the grip of Egypt on the minds and hearts of Judah has been broken (cf. Jer. 27:5-11). Other Exodus patterns include: Abraham goes to Egypt in a famine and returns with riches (Gen 12:10), also Abraham and Isaac go through the same pattern with Philistine Abimelech (Gen. 20 & 26); Joseph goes to Egypt in bondage (Gen. 37:28); and Jacob (Gen. 46:3 leading to the actual Exodus).
Crossing the Red Sea - In order to take Israel through the Red Sea of washing (36:24), by the guiding Spirit-cloud, God will give them a new kind of Moses, a Good Shepherd-King: “I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David” (34:22-26). God restores their leadership and renews the hearts of the people. He “will cleanse them” and “put my sanctuary among them forever” (37:23-26). The language of this gracious covenant renewal is very famous. It is echoed in the language that Jesus uses in his encounter with Nicodemus (John 3). “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you” (Ezek 36:24-27). Hence the idolaters of Israel will be renewed, resurrected. “Son of man, can these bones live?. . . Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:3ff).
Exhortations - God did bring his people, the remnant, back into the Land. Under Cyrus, he allowed the people to go back and rebuild the wall and the temple. This temporal fulfillment was not all that God had in mind, however. God keeps covenant. Israel’s renewal comes through the Good Shepherd who baptizes, not with the water of the Jordan, but the Holy Spirit and who builds the temple of Jews and Gentiles with living stones. We are this renewed Israel.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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