The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Luke 24:5-6
Charles Dickens quoted in his book ‘A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, and the worst of times.” This book points out the differences between good and evil, and how goodness can resurrect itself from evil. Transformation and revelation can occur through the battles we face in life. Something dies, so that something else can be born. Sydney Carton was a character in the book, who was transformed and when he died his death brought about peace and revelation in the lives of others. It reminds me that life can take on meaning, even in death. Jesus died so that we might have peace and life in abundance (John 10:10). Jesus death and suffering on the cross was the worst event in history, bit it led to the greatest event in history; one that would impact people for thousands of years after it. Through His suffering, He defeated the devil and made a way for mankind to commune with God again and receive eternal life (John 3:16, Genesis 3:15). This life is full of suffering, but when we suffer with Christ (stand up for truth) no matter what the circumstance, we put a dart in the plans of the enemy (Philippians 1:21). We will overcome the season of darkness we face if we hold fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
“If the ultimate evil can result in ultimate good, it can happen elsewhere even in our own individual lives.” Lee Strobel.
There is nothing big or small that Jesus cannot help us overcome. He faced the cruelest persecution ever known to man, taking on the sins of the world willingly, even though He was innocent. If we are living in the revelation of Calvary (death, burial, and resurrection) we have nothing to fear. He can take our hardest battle, put it to death, bury it, and raise up new life from it. We can have peace even through trouble, because Jesus has already overcome all we will ever face and nailed it to the cross (John 16:33). We as Christians are crucified with Christ, but we are also resurrected with Him! (Galatians 2:20). The same power that resurrected Jesus to life, is the same power living in us. We have the power to spread that same hope to others! (1 Peter 3:15). When hope arises, darkness hides. We are very much in the throws of revival as God is shaking things up! It can seem overwhelming, but for something great to be birthed in our lives, something must die; something must change. God is bringing His church back to life and raising up a great army (Ezekiel 37:10). The dead church needs to be revived, because we are in the last days (Revelation 3). The Church has lost its voice, power, and influence. Some have lost the revelation of Calvary and have sugar coated it like an Easter Egg. We need to wake up from our slumber and “be the Church” outside of the four walls we have conditioned ourselves to (Ezekiel 7:9). The prophet Ezekiel is describing his vision of seeing the dry bones as the people of Israel living in exile. God wants to set His people free, but we need His spirit to revive us from the dead. I believe we are like the tale of two cities, good and evil. There is very much a battle between the two realms. In Ezekiel 18:23 God shows us His mercy. He does not want the wicked to perish, He wants them to turn from their ways so they can live (2 Peter 3:9, 2 Chronicles 7:14). This is talking about a spiritual death, not a physical one.
There are some spiritual graves full of dry bones, that God is wanting to breath upon and bring back to life (Acts 2:17-18, Joel 2:28). This is Easter weekend and this Sunday we celebrate Jesus resurrection. He was crucified, buried, and then resurrected. In Luke 24:31, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples. They recognized that this God had been with them the entire time, and though they could no longer be with Him in the physical, He was very much still with them. They no longer mourned, they worshiped and were filled with great joy. They had a resurrection of faith! A revelation that the God they served was not dead, but very much alive and on the scene!
Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. Ezekiel 37:13
This verse is speaking of a future time when the dead in Christ shall rise (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Ezekiel says, “Can these dry bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3). Things looked bleak, like there was no hope. God says, “you know the answer to this!” If we know the power of God, and that He was able to resurrect Jesus from the dead, how much more can He pull us out of the grave! (John 5:28-29). Nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26). Jesus wept over the Jerusalem as He approached it. He saw a city that was dead because it had succumbed to the evils around it, instead of seeing the peace that Jesus was offering, the salvation that sat right in front of them for the taking (Luke 19:41). God is saying, “Turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18:19-23, 2 Chronicles 7:14).
“The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28-29
That resurrection of life, and transformation power is available today for those who wish to receive it. It has the power to deliver us, heal us from every sickness and disease, and to give us eternal life (Isaiah 53:5). Easter is about resurrecting lives and transforming them through the power of Christ and what He accomplished on the cross. Leaving behind the old man that was dead to sin and living in the newness of Christ. When Jesus was on the cross, His cross was between two other crosses (Luke 23:39-43). He was hung between two thieves. He was standing in the gap for all mankind. Oswald Chambers quoted, “The cross is the center of time and eternity” (My Utmost for His Highest). It is the place between the city of good and the city of evil; heaven and hell. The bridge between man and God (John 14:6). The two thieves had different reactions to Jesus; they represented two types of people: The ones who live for the here and now, and the ones who focus on eternity. They were all about to face the exact same death, but their destination was dependent upon that very moment. The one thief says “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” The other thief says, “Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom.” Our hope is not in the world, but in the one that comes after it. What would it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul? (Matthew 16:26, Philippians 1:21).
I am here to tell you that God is not dead! He is very much alive today, and He wants to give us life. It may seem as though you are in a valley of dry bones, but God is waiting to breathe life back into His people! I believe He is weeping over the earth, speaking over the dry bones, calling on us to live! (Joshua 24:15). We have the option to choose life or death. When Abram gave Lot the option of which land he would choose, He chose the one that looked more profitable, but it ultimately would lead to the death of its inhabitants because of the immorality that lived there (Genesis 13:10-13). Which city do you wish to dwell? I choose the city of God, the kingdom of heaven which will never be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). Because, my God lives there. God is not dead! He is risen!
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20