Summary: Have you ever thought what it takes to be alive? Have you ever thought what it would take to be alive, in the Lord?
Title: Life, Everlasting – Part I: Breath
Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-10
In the movie, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dr. Frankenstein had his shady characters bring him lifeless bodies that had been recently buried. He then pieced these together and formed a huge man. Then, he raised the finished body up to the heights of his castle and exposed the monster to the lightning, thinking electricity was the key to life.
Have you ever thought what it takes to be alive? Have you ever thought what it would take to be alive, in the Lord?
Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ’Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’" 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ’This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’" 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army.
I’m a no body, how about you? How many nobodies have you met this week? How many people do you think that you have, unknowingly or knowingly, indirectly or directly, snubbed this week? I mean, since they really don’t matter at all in the overall scheme of things, we snub them, right?
There’s probably been a lot, haven’t there? Walking along the street, riding the bus, sitting beside someone on the subway, or even walking past someone here at church.
When I think about the implications of this I’m reminded of ‘skipping rocks’, or ‘skimming stones.’ You know, where you get down close to the water and find a flat rock, and throw the rock, trying to make it skip across the pond to the other side.
I’m reminded of that because many times we appear to be that stone and the water is the Living Water. We skip along, barely touching the water, and then we’re off again, trying to make it to the other side with minimal contact with the church, with Jesus, or with God. Just enough to get a little wet, because we have to, then we bounce back into the world again not realizing exactly where our life is receiving it’s energy or liveliness.
We can’t afford to do that. We can’t continue to tell ourselves that we are going through life with Christ and actually be just skipping along the surface of Christianity expecting our talent, abilities, and smooth talking to get us into heaven.
Ezekiel 37:6 says
I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.
The thief on the cross told the other thief that had just scolded Jesus, to “Shut up.” Then he basically told Jesus, “I’m a nobody, but could you remember me when you come into your kingdom?”
What did Jesus tell him? “Forget you!” “God doesn’t want ‘your kind’ in heaven! You’re a no-body!”
No! That’s not what He said. As a matter of fact He said something that continues to confuse many denominational traditions and practices even today!
What did he say? Did He say, “Well, you need to go into the inquiry room and the elders there will ask you some questions to determine the worth and validity of your confession. To see if you’re actually ready to accept Jesus.”
NO! That’s not what He said…
Did He say, “Well, you’re not doing enough in the church, your not ministering enough in the church. You’ve not evangelized enough people!”
The man was not baptized, not a member of the local church, didn’t tithe, and was probably a shady character, to say the least. But, Jesus told him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”