“Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” – 2 Kings 13:20-21
Have you ever experienced a time in your walk with God when you felt dry and empty, like dry dead bones? I have not been writing much lately, because I have not felt compelled to share anything. You can’t speak life into others when you are struggling to experience life yourself.
The funny thing is that I didn’t know that I have been as dead as a doornail until I experienced what Holy Spirit inflamed life feels like again these past few weeks. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit of God you experience a mixture of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit your soul is full of life and you become keenly focused on Jesus and His Kingdom, and not your own kingdom. When you are walking in the flesh, with natural strength, it is lonely and exhausting.
When we were in Israel a few years ago we had the chance to visit the Garden Tomb, where many believe is the actual place where Jesus’ body was placed after he was crucified. During the time of Christ bodies where placed in rock tombs until their bodies decomposed and they were reduced to bones. The bones were then removed from the rock tomb and were placed in an ossuary, which is a chest, box, building, well or site meant to be the final resting place for the human skeletal remains. The tombs were then used again, over and over.
The Bible tells us that after Jesus was crucified, His body was removed by Joseph of Arimathea and it was moved to a new garden tomb with the help of Nicodemus. I have included some pictures that I took in a garden tomb, which may be the actual the tomb described in the Bible.
“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” – John 19:38-42
We know that Jesus never turned into a pile of bones because three days after He was placed in that rock tomb He was raised to life! You can search Israel all that you want, but you will not find an ossuary that contains the bones of Jesus because He is alive and well! Jesus conquered death and is very much alive and at the right hand of our Heavenly Father in Heaven watching us, and cheering us on! Jesus died so that we might live. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Because of Jesus’ death on a cross, and His resurrection from the dead three days later, we can truly live, both now and for eternity. Amen!
I can imagine Jesus standing in Heaven yelling, “Come on Len, you can do this! I love you brother! I know that it is hard sometimes, but you can do this because you are not alone, I’m right there with you! I had to leave the earth to make way for the Holy Spirit. You can experience the presence, power and life of the same Holy Spirit that helped me heal the sick, call the dead to life and get through that horrible night in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before they crucified me. It’s not rocket science brother, stop trying so hard and simply ask to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. I know that flesh is weak, you don’t have to do this alone! I have so much more to show you and teach you and show you if you would just trust in me more than you trust in yourself.”
So if you are like me, and sometimes trust more in the flesh than the living Spirit of God, take heart. You are not alone… Jesus is for you. He loves you. He wants everyone to experience life and not death. When you are in the presence of a Holy God, death is turned into life, and dead bones can come to life again. Just ask the Lazarus or the man who was thrown into Elisha’s tomb. It’s time to wake up brothers and sisters. Time is short and it’s time for these dead bones to rise up and start walking with Christ again. Thank you Jesus!