“Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore, prophesy and say to them, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it, says the LORD'” (Ezekiel 37:11-14).
People have interpreted this word in many ways. Some point to Israel being taken back in 1947, while others say in 1967. Many say God was speaking of the rebuilding of the land. However, there is a problem with this. We haven’t seen ANY people coming out of the graves in Israel. Defenders of this interpretation say this is just an analogy of people coming to the Lord and being reborn. While that is a possibility, we would be looking at a prophecy that was spoken ages ago, yet it didn’t come to pass until 1947 or 1967.
When people request their prophecy, they want to know when it will come to pass. They want to receive prophecy that will happen within their lifetime. What good will it do if I prophesied about things that will happen hundreds of years from today? People are not interested in what will happen 400 years from now. They want to know what will happen to them now!
When Jesus Christ walked on the face of the earth, many prophecies given over hundreds of years began to unfold. In fact, a lot of the scriptures in the New Testament are the fulfillment of prophecies made in the Old Testament.
The book of Matthew reveals when this prophetic word from Ezekiel came to pass.
Each book of the gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were written to different groups of people. The book of Matthew was written to the people of Israel, the Jewish people. It was written to them in terms they understood. In Matthew Chapter 27, Jesus had already gone through the sentencing process and had been turned over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. He had been hung on the cross, and when he came to the point when He was about to give up His spirit, the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy was completed. The evidence is found in the recorded scriptures below.
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:51-53).
What a day that was! Many came out of the graves, but how many? It was the promise of God to all those who believed that Jesus Christ was coming, that their day of salvation was near. They believed that was the day of the final sacrifice; that The Lamb of God was coming. When that day came, everyone who believed before His resurrection would be raised from the dead.
So many questions come to mind. How many people was that? Was King David in the group? Ezekiel? Isaiah? Who else came out of the graves? What happened to those who saw these people walk out of the graves bearing witness? When they witnessed dry bones taking on flesh and breath, they went into the city bearing witness. After beholding this, how could they not believe Jesus Christ was the living Son of God?!
Even for us today who did not witness this event, the promise of salvation is our great hope! Some people claim that this verse refers to a spiritual awakening and that many became born again.
I don’t believe that explanation.
Why would God speak about putting breath to dry bones unless He is speaking about physical things rather than spiritual things? What happened to all those people who came out of the graves after the resurrection? Where are they? These people already died once, came out of the graves and were resurrected. How many times can you die and be resurrected? The scriptures say only once! So, what happened to these people? Are they still with us or when Jesus ascended, did they go with him? Is it possible that they were taken up when Jesus ascended from The Mount of Olives? Could this have been the first resurrection and rapture? Could this be the group of people raised from the dead who failed to convince the Israelites to repent that Jesus spoke about at the end of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus? (Luke 16:19-31).
Consider the possibilities.
While we still seek answers to these questions, one thing we do know is that we are in for some history-making moments in this lifetime!
(article by, Apostolic Prophet, Kent Simpson)