Exposition of Ezekiel (20): 'Dem Bones (Ez. 37)
‘Dem Bones - Exposition of Ezekiel (part 20)
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge xyzz November 25, 2007 (Ezekiel ch. 37)
Toe bone connected to the foot bone. Foot bone connected to the leg bone. Leg bone connected to the knee bone...
The Setting of the Valley of ‘Dem Dry Bones
Egypt Judged -> Shepherd Leads -> Israel Baptized -> Enter Land -> Tabernacle Built
After Egypt is sent “down to the pit” (Ez. 32:18), God promises Israel a new leader, “one shepherd, my servant David” (34:22-26) and that he will “cleanse them” [baptize] and “put my sanctuary among them forever” (37:23-26). This is a new exodus with a resurrection/restoration into the Land. As in the first exodus, there were Amalekites who attacked Israel afterwards, so here there is the attack of “Gog and Magog” (38:2ff) [next week].
The Significance of the Valley of ‘Dem Dry Bones
Resurrection of Israel -> Last Day Resurrection Hope -> Resurrection in Jesus Now
The “Dry Bones” prophecy - “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people”- refers to the national restoration, e.g., “and I will bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:3ff). This is to be interpreted in a multi-dimensional way, that I will call a personal narrative typology. Israel’s hoped for resurrection and their “mythology” of life on the Last Day, came true in Jesus in the middle of history. Jesus, the last Adam and True Israel, did what Israel was to do by being obedient (Is. 53) and God did what He promised to Israel (Ez. 37, Dan. 12) (in Jesus): raise True Israel from the dead. “In Jesus” is resurrection, now (John 11). What was to happen on the Last Day was brought forward in the middle of history. The apostles taught it this way. They were “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2). Resurrection, a Last Day event, is now available “in Jesus” through faith and will be manifest in the culmination of His kingdom.
Exhortations - Jesus echoed Ezekiel in saying that, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. . . . The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:53-63). We are the new Israel who are united in baptism-faith to the resurrected Jesus (Rom. 6:3). We have Life in Him. Therefore, we, individually and collectively, have resurrection Life through faith in Jesus. Evidence that each of us is united to Jesus in this Life becomes clear in our abiding in faith, living faithfully. The life of “trusting and obeying” Jesus is enacted in our new covenant meal.
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 receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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