Come Back to Life

David CerulloBy David Cerullo9 Minutes

On Good Friday, we commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross … the sacrificial Lamb of God who died for our sins and the sins of the whole world (John 1:29). Jesus’ death on our behalf wasn’t an accident, nor was it a triumph of Satan over the Son of God. It was a demonstration of the Father’s love for us and His redemptive plan from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).

Jesus’ resurrection is the story of God coming to earth in the form of flesh and blood and paying the penalty for our sin and disobedience. Through the miracle of the resurrection, God offers us a great exchange:

• Our sin for His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
• Our sickness for His health (1 Peter 2:24)
• Our poverty for His abundance (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 8:9)
• Our sentence of death for His eternal life (Romans 6:23)

The resurrection not only can impact your eternal destiny, but it also can bring about amazing turnarounds in your life today. Because Jesus has risen from the dead, you too can “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Scripture says:

The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in YOU (Romans 8:11)!

Can you see what an amazing miracle this is? The apostle Paul describes a time when he and his team were “burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life.” But his turnaround came when he realized that instead of trusting in his own strength, he could rely upon “God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8–9). That same resurrection power is available to you today!

Stuck in the Valley?

Of course, even for many believers, it’s difficult to accept this fact as true. They may be experiencing dead areas in their lives and wondering why God’s resurrection power hasn’t transformed their circumstances.

The truth is, just about everyone has some aspect of their life in need of a resurrection: dead hopes and dreams, dead careers, dead marriages, dead relationships with parents, kids, or siblings, or perhaps physical ailments in need of a touch from the resurrected Christ.

What about you? Is there some area of your life that has become stagnant, dry, or even dead? If so, some powerful lessons can be learned from Ezekiel’s stunning vision of God resurrecting Israel’s “dry bones” (Ezekiel 37).

As the vision began, Ezekiel found himself “in the midst of the valley” (v. 1). Isn’t it interesting that our greatest revelations from God often come when we’re in a valley of some kind? We all crave mountaintop experiences, of course, but more often, our biggest breakthroughs occur when we’re down in a valley or pit.

In this valley, Ezekiel didn’t just see one dead object. The valley was “full of bones,” body parts that once had been alive, but now were dead (v. 1). In the same way, when we find ourselves sitting in a hopeless place, it’s hard to see signs of life anywhere. Death seems to have a cascading effect, spreading almost like cancer. Perhaps it started with a job loss, but then it turned into marital disharmony, depression, or addiction.

Is There Any Hope?

Surrounded by death and dryness on every side, the prophet is asked a very important question: “Can these bones live?” (v. 3). When an area of your life has seemingly died, this is a question you will have to confront. Is there any hope? Is it still possible for resurrection to come?

The temptation, of course, is to simply say, “It’s over. Once something has died, there’s no hope it will ever return to life.” Despite being a man of faith, even Ezekiel had little confidence this story was going to have a happy ending. Instead of boldly proclaiming that the dry bones would surely live, all he can muster is the uncertain response, “O Lord God, You know” (v. 3).

At this point in the story, God gets Ezekiel involved in the recovery plan, instructing him to “prophesy to these bones” and tell them to “hear the word of the Lord” (v. 4). If you’re ever going to experience the resurrection of a dead area of your life, it’s unlikely God will allow you to remain a passive bystander. No, He will give you an assignment, something you can do to spark the turnaround.

Ezekiel is told to speak to the troublesome circumstances, commanding them to heed God’s Word. That’s a pretty good starting place for us as well. We must start speaking life-giving words, telling the dead things in our lives to line up with the Word of God.

The Bones Begin to Rattle

When Ezekiel obeyed the Lord and prophesied, “there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling” (v. 7). It can be a scary thing when our dead things begin to rattle, shake, and make noises! But this is often what happens when God begins to restore dead things to life. Rather than bring us fear, these should be signs of hope.

Next, “the bones came together, bone to bone” (v. 7). There’s power in agreement and relationship (Matthew 18:19–20). God’s plan is to bring us together, but if the devil can keep us separated and isolated, our dryness and defeat will continue unabated.

Finally, the Spirit of God breathed on these dead bones, bringing them back to life. The Israelites had said, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost” (v. 11), but the Lord brought them resurrection and pointed them to a hope-filled future.

Notice that this is not a self-help story. Dead bones don’t come back to life by trying harder. Something supernatural must happen in order to bring dead things back to life.

This great story is about resurrection and hope, but it’s also about purpose. Although the bones had been lifeless and nonfunctional for a long time before, they “stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army” (v. 10). You see, this passage is not just about God resurrecting your hopes and dreams, so you can feel good about your life. It’s about rising up to fulfill your purpose in His mighty army.

Can you hear the Spirit beginning to breathe on you today? It’s not too late for a resurrection of joy, happiness, and purpose. Remember, Christ is risen! And because of His resurrection power, you too can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and experience incredible turnarounds in your life. Your resurrection has come!