Who is the son of Man Ezekiel 37:1-14
Who is the Prophet, the Son of Man
† In His Name †
Who is the Prophet, this Son of Man?
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love!
That morning the entire church at that time gathered, all 120 of them. As they waited on God I am not sure they knew the prophecies that would be fulfilled that day. As the ladies prepared and set up for the day, this incredible feast of Pentecost, did they realize that they would be hosting a few more than they anticipated?
Imagine if they knew they would seeing 3000 plus people baptized that day! That the feast of Pentecost would have more than that – crashing it! Imagine the logistics!
Imagine our fields, both of them – filled with people waiting to be baptized! People crying in joy as they heard that God would never count their sins upon them! People dancing with great joy, as water was poured over them, and the Holy Spirit fell on them, and took up residence in each one, now a Saint as well as Sinner, now claimed by God, and given life in a way that… is just beyond explanation….
I imagine even Matthew the apostle – the secretary of the group – the one who kept such careful notes – gave up on trying to write baptismal certificates and add people to the roster!
In heaven, with the great cloud of witnesses, I imagine one of them, a prophet whose vision pictured that Pentecost – and yet this day too, as the word of God went forth, as those broken and withered and dried up by sin – their sin and the injustice of the world, healed, restored to life, and given the Holy Spirit….
Ezekiel must have been as amazed at the reality of His vision!
But that Pentecost is not the only day that the vision was manifested in its fullness, Peter not the only one who would identified as the prophet, as the son of man! He is not the only one who would cry over a valley of dry bones, and guided by the hand of God, would burst forth with words that would heal, that would cleanse, that would call the Holy Spirit into lives that are “dried up, without hope, and cut off”.
Who besides Peter, who else could be this “son of man?” Who else is called by God, and who would witness such a miracle?
Three candidates today… two very obvious.. and one that might surprise you!
Is it every pastor?
The first answer – the first possible one who, like Ezekiel’s vision, like Peter on Pentecost, is every man who stands before a congregation, who has been called by God to speak the words of Christ, the words of life, to a people oppressed by the world, whose faith is challenged. I love how one song explains it…
A pastor stands before his congregation
Once a mighty army for the Lord
But now he stares into the lifeless eyes
Believers leading carnal lives
He wonders what they’re fighting for
But driven by a calling on his life
He spoke God’s word
Like he’d done a hundred times before
But this time he comes broken and weeping
With tears of a broken heart
And he cries out to the Lord
Oh Lord send Your wind into this valley
And breathe the breath of life into their souls
And raise them again a mighty army
For soon these arisen warriors will battle again
For they have been filled with the spirit wind
Those words have burnt deeply within me – as I talk to many pastors, as we talk about the people whom we minister to, who struggle as they think they are caught in the that point in Ezekiel’s vision where they have been given flesh and know they are healed, yet seem without the Spirit. They are not – God never leaves the promise of baptism half done – yet – do we live…. In Christ? Does the Spirit dwell in us?
Our churches aren’t as filled as they once were, we see the need to protect what we have, rather than respond to the work God has commissioned us – His people to the world.
That prayer – Lord send you wind into this valley – breathe the breath of life into their souls… and raise them again a might army, for soon –perhaps as soon as this afternoon – we will venture into the battle that would see others delivered from sin, released from the bondages that injustice and unrighteousness bring..
And the incredible reminder! We have – not will – have been filled with the Spirit’s wind…
Such is a pastor’s call – and yes, we see those who did not know the gift of life, come alive as God fulfills the promise through His word! Through His blessings of baptism which promises life! Through the supper which celebrates His sacrificial love, and assures us of His faithfulness to us!
Is it every son (and daughter of Man…)
The 2nd “son of man”, the 2nd candidate that is a fulfillment of Ezekiel’s experience, that witnesses the same kind of a miracle is the one that might seem less likely. You each saw that prophet this morning when you looked into the mirror!
Now some of you… Debbie, Carol, Mac, Doug, …are going to tell me that you are not a prophet! In the sense of an Old Testament prophet, who speaks for God, perhaps so. Yet, I can make a simple case –God has given each of you the ability to speak for Him, to a world that is as dry, and broken, as the Valley in Ezekiel’s vision!
First requirement – do you look around you, in the place to where you are brought in life, and see it much as Zeke saw his valley? Do you see the devastation that has occurred in people’s lives? Do you know people who see themselves as hopeless, who realize that there is something not right in the world, who feel cut off – as God’s people confess in Ezekiel’s prophecy..
Second, the word prophecy means, at its base to speak a message that bubbles forth from you – about God, about something you cannot, as you consider it keep within you- you know you have to tell them, you know you have to pray for someone, because they need to know what you have, what you know. You know that they need the Holy Spirit to bring them life! They need a life free and with great peace, a life that is sustained, a life like yours!. Being a prophet is sort of like being a pregnant, sooner or later what is in you will burst forth – and there will be life. This is what can burst from you – and you will, though a bit scared, will rejoice!
And in truth, as it does, as you see someone who God calls you to speak life to… as you see someone who God calls you to ask the Holy Spirit to fill and bring life to… the joy is very similar to seeing your child born, for indeed – the Holy Spirit has used you – to help someone be born again, to live.
Is it Jesus?
So pastors can be considered in a small way, of being the “son of man” from who God’s word goes forth and brings life to that which was withered and dead! Likewise, you, as your faith in God builds, as you become more intimate with Him, as you know His deep love for you; you will share the words of life, that will see people healed and restored and give life.
Yet there is the most obvious answer, for without His speaking the words of life, neither the pastor, nor the people would have any words to say to those in such need. The Son of Man who the Father sent to seek and save the lost, the Great Physician who seeks those who are sick! This vision, this prophecy is fulfilled to the max when we see it as a conversation among the Trinity – the Father’s hand guiding the Son to Earth, where the question is asked – in this valley where sin massacred us, can theses bones live. “Can these bones live” the Father asks? Jesus replies, “Lord, You know”
For this was their plan, and in Christ, the damage of sin is reversed, that which was dead and dry, is cleansed and awakened, and even as John tells us, He sent the Holy Spirit as promised – who takes up residence in our lives.
We don’t meekly invite Jesus into our Heart, the preaching of Christ calls it to invade, to cleanse, to restore, to renew that which was dried up. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just give hope, God rips us from our graves, from our complacency, from our sin! He is the evidence and proof of our hope that we have been reconnected to the Father who loves us that He sent the Son, that we are loved by the Son who died to restore us in His resurrection to the Father! The Holy Spirit – working through God’s promises, through the very action of baptism raises up that which was dead, oppressed,
And bring us life…. Life with Him… for there is no other kind of life.
From there, now alive – we share with Him this incredible vision, this incredible mission, this incredible answer to the question…
The Lord asks us…”Can this Los Angeles basin, filled with dried dead bones live?”
Lord, we answer.. you know… for it is your will…
Speak through us…