Summary: Christ raises both the physically dead and the spiritually dead.
“Hope For The Living Dead”
By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
In our Scripture lesson for this morning Ezekiel finds himself in a valley that is covered
with nothing but dry bones.
Sure looks like a hopeless situation to me.
Then God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”
I would imagine that Ezekiel’s natural response to this question would be “No, of course
Because he knew how these bones had become dry.
The dry bones are symbolic of the discouraged state of the people of Israel.
And he knew that the dryness of the bones was an indictment on Israel for specific sins
that the nation had committed.
These sins include cultic abuse--such as profaning the sabbath, and ethical crimes--such
as bloodshed, adultery, the dishonoring of parents, and the violation of the rights of orphans,
widows, and sojourners.
But Ezekiel also knew that the God he served was merciful and compassionate, and
that anything is possible for God.
So, Ezekiel responded, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
And sure enough, the mercy and compassion of God came forth.
God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones, to tell them to hear the Word of the Lord, and
He, would cause them to live.
So Ezekiel was obedient to God, and he prophesied to the bones.
And he saw something happen that I am sure must have astounded him.
Many times the Lord will call us to do something, and we will think.... “Okay, I’ll do
it....I’ll trust You and do it...but I don’t know what good it could possibly do.”
Well, to Ezekiel’s surprise, as he was prophesying, he heard noise and saw the bones
shaking; he saw them coming together.
He saw toe bones connected to foot bones,
He saw foot bones connected to ankle bones,
and on and on and on until all the bones were connected.
But they were not breathing; they were in a sense....the living dead!
Kind of like so many of those wacky zombie movies that a buddy of mine used to love.
But God asked Ezekiel to prophesy again, and breath came into them; “they came to life
and stood up on their feet--a vast army.”
Then God told Ezekiel that this vast army of the living dead were the entire household of
And they were like this because their hope was gone.
And there are millions of people who are like this today.
Just look where we live--this community, this country, this world!
Just look around, and it seems as if we are living in a valley of dry bones!
We see men, and women, boys and girls--deteriorated physically, spiritually, and
We see despair, depression, hunger, the homeless, orphans, and widows not being cared
Look at the tv news or the newspaper racks and we see bloodshed, adultery, extortion,
and so much corruption that it causes us to look up to God and wonder, “Can these bones live?”
There are some people who have chosen to serve at the altar of the gods of wealth and
power and have lost their souls.
Their are those who have been abused, neglected, and are suffering all kinds of
hardships...many of them are little more than breathing corpes.