This week I am reading through Ezekiel 37 as part of the Sunday School lesson at Boyd Ave. next Sunday. Boyd is the church that acts our 'The Mother Church' for The Way. I have attended the class a few times and have really enjoyed the studies.
As I read this powerful text known as 'The Valley of Dry Bones' I believe we can easily apply it in four different ways:
1. A Near-Future Prophetic Promise for The Exiles - The People of God (Israel) had been exiled away from their homeland for many years. This was a direct prophecy to them that they would be able to return to their homes and re-build what they thought was dead and gone. This would have been an ultimate hope for a people who looked at their nation as the central conduit of God's Blessings.
2. A Future Prophetic Promise of The Messiah - This text gives an emphatic picture of Resurrection...not only of a nation but if literal people. God would use this stubborn people to bring forth the Messiah who would show the Power of God by defeating death with His Once-For-All-Time Sacrifice. The Messiah would come and show the Power of this Resurrection. The Followers of the Messiah would then be able to experience this same Resurrection.
3. A Longer-Future Prophetic Promise of Heaven - The New Jerusalem - You can see a great promise that goes beyond this life. You see words like 'Forever' and 'God dwelling with them in everlasting covenant'. This is a glimpse at what life will be like in the eternal presence of God. This can be the life of your future. Check out the last few chapters of Revelation to get a glimpse.
4. An Analogous Prophetic Promise to Followers of The Way - Jesus - This is not only a historical and prophetic Word for descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is also a wonderful picture of Resurrection that is for the Followers of Jesus Christ who came as Messiah to seek and save that which was Lost - Us! We can put our hope in the Jesus of the Resurrection. He paid the penalty for our sin so that we would not have to experience death. Faith in Christ will defeat death and its consequences. Do you Follow Jesus? Come along on 'The Way'!
We will have our first meeting on August 10th at 10am at Pizza Ranch on 2nd Street in Casper. I hope to see you there.