16 Verses: Ezekiel 37:1-14…Resurrection Promised

16 Verses

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses

Ezekiel 37…Resurrection Promised

From the fall, sin and death have reigned.

Sin and death show up as an evil pair 50 times in 11 different passages.

Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…”

Romans 7:13 “Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.”

Isaiah 53 showed us how God addressed sin.

Ezekiel 37 will show us how God will address death.

NOTE: Too much of the commentary on this passage seeks to deny that Ezekiel could have had in mind the doctrine of resurrection.

They state that Ezekiel was pointing to God’s restoration of national Israel. This is true, but it’s only partially true.

Both themes are in play. God would restore Israel and remind the prophet that he can overcome death.

This is likely due to the habit of isolating the Old Testament from the metanarrative of the gospel and the reality that God intended to introduce resurrection from the beginning.

Hebrews 11:19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

This is he writer of Hebrew’s commentary on Abraham’s offering up of Isaac. So, its clear to the writer of Hebrews that resurrection was something image bearers were hoping for and believed in.

Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-24…the widow of Zarephath) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37…the Shunamite’s son) are prototypes Jesus sent as forerunners of his work in raising people from the dead.

So, to say that Ezekiel could not have in mind resurrection from the dead is to ignore the rest of the bible.

Historical/Gospel Application

The prophets can have a historical application and a gospel application.

The historical application to Ezekiel 37 is God fulfilling his promise to bring his exiled people back to the land. God does this beginning around 516 B.C. during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The gospel application of Ezekiel 37 is our focus for today.

Why? Jesus is the focal point of the entirety of Scripture, not Israel nationally.

Regarding God’s faithfulness to Israel…

Jesus, as the eternal Son of God, is the faithful Israel who the prophets looked forward to.

Exodus 4:22 calls Israel the “Son of God”.

Luke 3:22-28 records Jesus at his baptism being referred to as the “Son of God”.

Note Acts 13:32-33 (ESV) “And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’”

Jesus is the faithful Israel that the prophets looked forward to. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophetic word regarding Israel.

So, God has been faithful to his Israel.

Now Jesus is concerned with gathering his church made up of any Israeli, or Arab and whoever will repent and believe by faith alone in Christ alone from every nation by giving to them pardon from sin and resurrection to break the curse of death!

So, this passage finds its focus in Jesus.

So, what do we see? What does it mean? How do we obey?

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Since Jesus is the faithful Israel, Ezekiel 37 is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus and made a reality for all of his people.

(NOTE: God did keep his word to national Israel and did restore them to the land in 516-513 B.C.)

  1. Romans 1:4; Revelation 1:5

Romans 1:1-4 (ESV) Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

How do we see the gospel in Ezekiel 37?

People and nations are dead in the curse. 37:1-2

God’s word is powerful and effective to raise dead people and dead nations. 37:3-10

– Read it.

– Pray it.

– Speak it over any and everything you encounter in prayer and hope.

– Receive the providential addressing it brings through disciplined reading and study at just the right time. (Spontaneity only grows in the closely cultivated garden of discipline.)

– Listen for it from the Spirit.

– Enjoy God’s gift of life in Christ.

– Engage the world with faith that Jesus is able to heal nations.

Revelation 22:1-2 (ESV) “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

God’s powerful word and action crushes unbelief. 37:11-14

“You shall know that I am the LORD.”

How do we obey?

Have hope without fear.

  1. Jesus can save the deadest. Take courage.
  2. Death is not the end, rather in Christ, death has become our slave to finish Jesus’ work in us to make us like him…to restore us to the pre-fall state in the full image himself.

Revelation 1:4-5 (ESV) John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

Colossians 1:15-18 (ESV) “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”

Worship

Psalm 147:1 (ESV) “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praise to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

16 Verses: Isaiah 53…The Suffering Servant

16 Verses

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses

Isaiah 53…The Suffering Servant

God created a kingdom, and he is the King, but he made human beings to represent him in that kingdom. Adam and Eve rejected this call, which led to sin and death. But God promised to defeat the Serpent through the offspring of the woman, who is also the offspring of Abraham. Through Abraham’s family, and specifically Judah’s royal offspring, David, the covenant blessings would come to the world. Because all people were guilty and deserved death, the sacrifices of the Mosaic law revealed more clearly their need for a substitute…the Suffering Servant.[1]

Introduction

Who will substitute once for all and be the promised One to crush the Serpent’s head and break the curse? I think we all know who the New Testament is going to put forward as that answer. Jesus.

Isaiah looks forward to the answer and calls him the “Servant” (Isaiah 49-53).

Isaiah 53 is referred to or quoted at least 85 times in the New Testament applied to Jesus!

Regarding the prophet’s looking forward to who this is, Peter writes:

1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV) Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Isaiah 53…How would God rescue the woman’s descendants and break the curse?

What do we see? What does it mean? How do we obey?

The Servant Would be Rejected 53:1-3

A. The Servant’s word and works would not be believed. v. 1

(“heard” and “arm of the Lord”)

Romans 10:5-16

B. The Servant would not come appealing to the cursed standards of perceived beauty and prestigious places. v. 2-3

(“root out of dry ground” and “no form of majesty…beauty…despised…rejected”)

***The Serpent used “beauty” to appeal to Eve and the Servant would not do this***

John 1:10-11 (ESV) He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

Psalms 22:6 (ESV) 6 But I am a worm and not a man,

scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

C. The Servant would not know luxury but rather sorrows and grief. v. 3

Jesus was born to no advantage…suspicion about his father, poor, no educational advantage, unbelief on the part of his family, abandoned at his greatest time of need…

The Servant Would Make a Costly Exchange 53:4-6

A. The Servant came to carry our griefs and sorrows…to fix what was broken. v. 4

Matthew 8:14-17 (ESV) 14 And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. 16 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”

B. The Servant came to be pierced, crushed, chastised and have our sins laid on him in order to bring us peace with God and make it possible to overcome sin. v. 5-6

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

The Servant Would Submit 53:7-10a

A. The Servant submits to God’s plan, receives the crushing blow from God at the hands of those under the curse. v. 10a

Acts 8:32-35 (Philip preaching to the Ethiopian)

Acts 8:32-35 (ESV) Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter

and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,

so he opens not his mouth.

33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.

Who can describe his generation?

For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

The Servant Would be Rewarded 53:10b-12

A. The Servant receives a rescued humanity that will follow him and worship him forever. v. 10b

The truths written in the New Testament have their basis in what the Spirit inspired in the Old Testament.

John 6:37-39 (ESV) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

Jesus says this regarding this portion of Isaiah 53:

Luke 22:37 (ESV) For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

How do we obey?

A. We acknowledge the gospel as God’s eternal and powerful plan to save. Romans 1:16

B. If we are in Christ, we turn to Jesus to be our help. He bore our grief and sorrows, and he will effectively help.

– Radically obey.

– Take great risks for King and kingdom.

– Believe that any sorrow suffered here for the kingdom will be rewarded fully in kingdom come.

– We can handle so much more than we think we can in Christ.

C. We receive God’s mercy and favor by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone.

D. We accept that often difficulty is how we get to know Jesus better.

Philippians 3:8-11 (ESV) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

E. If you are in Christ, you have been given to Jesus by God the Father, and he has brought you to himself, loved you, taken you, guarded you, will never lose you, never cast you out and he will raise you up…therefore, give Jesus his reward of worship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Chris Bruno, The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 77.

16 Verses: 2 Samuel 7:12-13…King David

16 Verses

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses

2 Samuel 7:12-13…King David

 Colossians 1:28-29 is the goal in our preaching.

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

Seeing God at work in the whole bible will build your faith in him.

God created a kingdom, and he is the king, but he made human beings to represent him in that kingdom. Adam and Eve rejected this call, which led to sin and death. But God promised to defeat the Serpent through the offspring of the woman, who is also the offspring of Abraham. Through Abraham’s family, and specifically Judah’s royal offspring, David, the covenant blessings would come to the world. Because all people were guilty and deserved death, the sacrifices of the Mosaic Law revealed more clearly their need for a substitute.

David is, perhaps, the clearest “type” pointing to Jesus in the bible (as a dead end and a bridge).

What do we see in the life of David? How does it point us to Jesus?

2 Samuel 7:1-13

David loves God, and God loves David…There is a special relationship David has with God. 1-3 (David is a bridge to take us to Jesus)

Psalm 18:1-6

  1. God the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father in obedience.

John 17:23-24

Good News Point: The Father’s love for the Son, and the Son’s obedient love for the Father leads to God’s love being poured out to man as Jesus goes to the cross to take the Father’s wrath for us.

David obeys God here, but he falters later. 4-13 (David is a dead end to cause us to look for the one who will not be a dead end)

  1. Jesus perfectly obeys the Father.

John 5:19 “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”

Good News Point: Jesus obedience not only purchases our salvation, but he obedience also gets imputed to us.

God promises David a forever kingdom. 13 (David is a bridge to take us to Jesus)

  1. The genealogy of Matthew points us to the faithfulness of God to take us to Jesus, who is the Christ, the Serpent crusher. Matthew 1:2-16…Note how David is just a name among the long line of faithfulness of God to man to bring us the eternal Son of God.

Good News Point: Luke 1:32-33 (ESV) 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

David is a prophet. (Bridge)

David penned inspired Psalms that reveal God’s word to us.

David is a priest. (Bridge)

1 Samuel 23, David wore the “ephod” and communicated with God to know his purpose for himself and the people. 2 Samuel 6, wearing the “ephod” he danced before the Lord as representing the people before the Ark of the Lord.

David is a king. (Bridge)

David was given a kingdom to rule over and people to lead.

Good News Points:

Jesus, the better David, is the Prophet – Jesus tells us God’s words. John 17

Jesus, the better David, is the Priest – Jesus goes in to the holy place and offers himself before God for us and represents us before God forever.

Jesus, the better David, is the King – Jesus has been given a kingdom, and he will return not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

David kills the enemy of God’s people, Goliath, who threatens the people with death and slavery.

David’s showdown with Goliath shows the faithfulness of God to save his people as he keeps his covenant with Abraham.

Good News Point: Jesus, the better David, kills the enemy of God’s people, death and slavery to sin by death, and seals the covenant he made with Abraham by his own blood.

Jesus is the giant crusher to whom David points!!!

How do we obey?

  1. Hope in God.

Hope: The belief and feeling that everything will work out for God’s glory and our good and he will never sacrifice one for the other.

Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

The way God worked in people’s lives in the bible to point all of history to Jesus is how he works in your life today.

  1. Exercise your faith.

Faith in God is our ground for hope.

If this is how God is working in the world, then we have not excuse for letting out faith in God dry up on the vine.

Expect the kingdom, go seek after the kingdom, and be willing to give up the inferior for the superior.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Faith is not acting foolish. Faith is reasoned trust in God. Faith is not rejecting provision for some perceived other way.

Faith is acting on God’s word in application to your life as you walk with the Spirit in covenant relationship with the local church.

  1. Become a living sacrifice, which is your spiritual worship.

Romans 12:1-3

Lay your life down for the sake of the kingdom.

Lay your preferences down for the sake of the kingdom in others.

Be a worshiper in song.

 

 

16 Verses: Exodus 12:23…The Passover

16 Verses

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses

Exodus 12:23…The Passover Lamb

Exodus 12:23 (ESV) For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.

God created a kingdom, and he is the king, but he made human beings to represent him in that kingdom. Adam and Eve rejected this call, which led to sin and death. But God promised to defeat the Serpent through the offspring of the woman, who is also the offspring of Abraham. Through Abraham’s family, and specifically Judah’s royal offspring, the covenant blessings would come to the world. Because all people were guilty and deserved death, the sacrifices of the Mosaic law (and the beginning of those sacrifices revealed in the Passover)[1] revealed more clearly their need for a substitute.[2] 

The Passover is a GIGANTIC gospel signpost.

There are some smaller signposts along the way that you have to get close up on and think deeply about and draw some connections. We see may types buried deep in a person’s role (A type is one like THE ONE to come in some manner). We see patterns of how God operates.

This is not the case with the Passover. The Passover is one of those lighted digital boards spanning I75.

One has to be completely blind to miss the Passover as a gospel indicator. And the Passover is a teacher on seeing how God was building in the pattern of what he would do to complete the rescue of the offspring of the woman and crush the Serpent’s head once and for all.

What do we see? What does it mean?

The Passover and subsequent sacrifices remind us that the wages[3] of sin is death.

Every time someone had to slaughter an animal to provide sacrifice they had to have some of God’s words passing through their thoughts… “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Death is ugly.

Death smells bad.

Death is messy.

Death was not normal, so this abnormal activity was to be a reminder that death is what we earned as our wage from sin in the garden and all the subsequent sin we are involved in.

Genesis 2:17 (ESV) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

Exodus 12:30 (ESV) And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

Romans 6:23 (ESV) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How can we apply this truth?

  1. Sin’s natural consequence is death.

 

  1. Sin kills everything in its wake.

Illustration: One of my boys broke a rule, and thus sinned against his parents. In the wake of breaking that rule, the activity they were in did not go well and affected his brothers.

 

I had to remind my son that one sin affects the atmosphere and is never isolated to the sinner. Sin always affects everyone.

 

  1. As followers of Jesus, sin still kills. Sin will kill momentum in our growth in the faith, it will kill our mood, it will kill relational intimacy, and unchecked and killed itself will result in evidence we have never been saved in the first place. Sin has to be checked.

 

  1. No sin with anyone in the bible ever worked out well.

 

  1. Sin is to be killed not played with.

The Passover continues to show us the need for a substitute.

The pattern of substitute was built into history early on when God killed a creature and covered Adam and Eve’s shame though it had done nothing wrong.

God provided Abraham with a substitute when the ram was caught in the bush as he was about to sacrifice Isaac.

Now, God requires a lamb to be substituted for the people, and this pattern would be repeated for centuries.

However, this continual bringing of sacrifices was to remind people that goats and bulls and lambs are not enough.

The Greatest Substitution, the one to which the Passover points is articulated by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Therefore, the writer of Hebrews says this:

Hebrews 9:24-28 (ESV) “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

God’s heart in the Passover is to display the glory of the good news with justice and mercy.

Righteousness through justice – sin is not winked at, in fact God’s proper and right anger at sin is displayed in the death of the firstborn. People don’t just go free. People go free through the payment of the debt incurred from the offense. All people inherit Adam’s sin.

Mercy – those who obey God’s word and come under the substituted innocent lamb get to go free, having suffered no justice but getting only mercy.

Romans 3:21-26 (ESV) But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Jesus fulfills the Passover.

Luke 22:14-20

Bread = His body broken and given for them.

Cup = His blood poured out is for the new covenant.

What new covenant?

Jeremiah 31:31-34

How do we obey?

Believe the gospel and follow Jesus.  

Worship as a response to God’s grace.

(this is why we always worship in song after the sermon, so that it’s a response to the Lord’s Supper and Sermon that are to put in front of us the gospel and it’s manifold features.)

Exodus 15:1 (ESV) “Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,”

God’s people sang a song in response to God’s mighty grace, so should all those who follow Jesus.

“Worship must therefore center on retelling what God has done.”[4]

 

 

[1] Parenthesis mine.

[2] Chris Bruno, The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 61.

[3] It’s interesting to note that the correct grammar should be “wage of sin is death”. However, the text says “wages of sin is death”. The indication is that death is a multifaceted monster that has consequences far beyond physical death. It’s death of the good atmosphere and vibe among God’s people. It’s death of relationships. It’s the cooling of love for one another. It’s the destruction of a family.

[4] Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible (Nottingham: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 137.

 

Friday Funny

This guy is a hoot. He does President Bush, President Obama and President Trump impersonations that are so spot on and funny.

In this episode, the Bearded Presidents plant a church….