Urban renewal is taking place all over the globe. The goal is to reduce poverty and restore decayed cities. These efforts illustrate a promise God made to ancient Israel. While they were languishing in captivity, hopelessly scattered in many nations, but mostly in Babylon, God sent them a message of hope by the prophet Ezekiel. To drive home the power of His promise, God used the symbol of hopelessly dead bones that came to life. Ezekiel wrote in Chapter 37, “The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones become living people again?’ ‘O Sovereign LORD,’ I replied, ‘you alone know the answer to that.’ Then God said to Ezekiel, I am going to put breath into these hopelessly dead bones and make them live again!” God promised to restore His ancient people. Years later, using similar language, Jesus told Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit brings to life spiritually dead people who realize they are hopeless without God. They only need to turn from sin and by faith look up to Jesus who paid our sin debt on the cross.
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