Ezekiel Meets Lazarus – 5th Week of Lent
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Ezekiel 37 1-2 God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Master God, only you know that.”
4 He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’”
5-6 God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
7-8 I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.
9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”
10 So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army….
11 There was a certain man who was very ill. He was known as Lazarus from Bethany, which is the hometown of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary did a beautiful thing for Jesus. She anointed the Lord with a pleasant-smelling oil and wiped His feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus became deathly ill, 3 so the sisters immediately sent a message to Jesus which said, “Lord, the one You love is very ill.” 4 Jesus heard the message.
Jesus: His sickness will not end in his death but will bring great glory to God. As these events unfold, the Son of God will be exalted.
5 Jesus dearly loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. 6 However, after receiving this news, He waited two more days where He was.
Jesus (speaking to the disciples): 7 It is time to return to Judea.
17-18 As Jesus was approaching Bethany (which is about two miles east of Jerusalem), He heard that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. 19 Now many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha as they mourned the loss of their brother. 20 Martha went to meet Jesus when word arrived that He was approaching Bethany, but Mary stayed behind at the house.
Martha: 21 Lord, if You had been with us, my brother would not have died. 22 Even so I still believe that anything You ask of God will be done.
28 After this Martha ran home to Mary.
Martha (whispering to Mary): Come with me. The Teacher is here, and He has asked for you.
29 Mary did not waste a minute. She got up and went 30 to the same spot where Martha had found Jesus outside the village. 31 The people gathered in her home offering support and comfort assumed she was going back to the tomb to cry and mourn, so they followed her. 32 Mary approached Jesus, saw Him, and fell at His feet.
Mary: Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would still be alive.
33 When Jesus saw Mary’s profound grief and the moaning and weeping of her companions, He was deeply moved by their pain in His spirit and was intensely troubled.
Jesus: 34 Where have you laid his body?
Jews: Come and see, Lord.
35 As they walked, Jesus wept; 36 and everyone noticed how much Jesus must have loved Lazarus.
38 Then Jesus approached the tomb—a small cave covered by a massive stone.
Jesus: 39 Remove the stone.
Martha: Lord, he has been dead four days; the stench will be unbearable.
Jesus: 40 Remember, I told you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.
41 They removed the stone, and Jesus lifted His eyes toward heaven.
Jesus: Father, I am grateful that You have heard Me. 42 I know that You are always listening, but I proclaim it loudly so that everyone here will believe You have sent Me.
43 After these words, He called out in a thunderous voice.
Jesus: Lazarus, come out! 44 Then, the man who was dead walked out of his tomb bound from head to toe in a burial shroud.