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.”

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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.