The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

Friends in Christ, in these recent weeks, the first reading has been from the prophet Ezekiel. Perhaps we can ask tonight, who is Ezekiel and what is he writing about?
Ezekiel is one of the major prophets, and lived around 600BC. His writing emphasizes the majesty and glory of God, and he feels strongly about the proper worship and honor that should be given to God. The main theme of Ezekiel is the need for constant inner conversion of each person.
The first part of the book is a description of his call as a prophet, and the visions he sees. Then he begins his mission. As a messenger of God, he warns Israel and Jerusalem. Israel is compared to a harlot. The chosen people of God whom the Lord made his bride, have gone whoring after false gods and the nations; because of their sins, Ezekiel foretells that destruction will come to Jerusalem for their unfaithfulness.
He is a man of signs, and the death of his own wife is a sign to the people, of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. In the last 15 chapters, Ezekiel gives hope to Israel. Even though destruction of Jerusalem will come as punishment for their unfaithfulness, he gives assurance and hope, that God will save a remnant of the people; a new temple will be rebuilt, and a new community of happiness established.
His prophecies are dead on. He accurately predicts all these things. This alone is amazing. But what is more profound in the Book of Ezekiel, is that while he is predicting events a hundred years later, he is really speaking about something much greater. He speaks of a time when God will bring our bones together, and put flesh back on them – he is predicting the Resurrection of the Body at the end of the world. He speaks also, about a marvelous new Temple. The New Temple, which will be surpass all the others, the Heavenly Temple, the goal and the happiness of all people; fulfillment of mankind will be in Christ: the New Temple.
Ezekiel’s exact prophecy is repeated in the Book of Revelation: ‘And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal coming forth from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the city street, on both sides of the river, was the Tree of Life, bearing twelve fruits, and the leaves for the healing of the nations.
The Temple of God’s glory in heaven, is our goal, and Ezekiel predicted it all, two thousand, six hundred years ago.

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