Tim Keller | April 24, 2011
We’re looking at the characteristics—also known as the “attributes”—of God according to the Bible. This sermon looks at God as the God who makes alive. When Israel was invaded by the Babylonians and taken into exile, they had no hope of the future. Yet God, through Ezekiel, gives them a picture of resurrection, and it’s both a hope and a strength to them and us.
Ezekiel is a prophet who lived when the Israelites were captives in Babylon. He shares a hopeful message about new beginnings and healing. Even though the Israelites made mistakes and lost a lot, God shows him a vision of dry bones coming back to life. This symbolizes the Israelites getting their hope and strength back. God promises they will return to their homeland and be filled with His Spirit. This is a message of hope and strength for everyone.
1. It’s a hope
The dry bones are a symbol of how the Israelites see themselves – like a dying nation who lost their home and their identity because they turned away from God. This is like when Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden. Death can seem unnatural and sad, and can make life feel pointless, but Viktor Frankl says we can still find meaning in life. The answer to this problem is Jesus. He gives us a hope that is stronger than death and is made even better by it.
2. It’s a strength
Having hope in life is really important. We get hope by accepting the truth, having a spiritual new beginning, and accepting the good news of Jesus. We should always tell the truth about Christianity and not water it down. The idea of a new beginning, needing to believe in the good news, and understanding that we need to be saved by grace are all very important. Jesus coming back to life shows that He sacrificed for us and that God accepts us because of grace. This gives us hope and a way to be healed, no matter how bad things seem.
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