Sermon for Easter Sunrise 04.09.23 “After the end”

Easter Sunrise 2023

Text: Ezekiel 37:1–14, 24–28

Theme: After the end

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. Ezekiel 37:1-14 serves as our sermon text for this morning, which reads
as follows:
Ezekiel 37:1–14 (NASB95)
1The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of
the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of
2He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very
many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry.
3He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord
GOD, You know.”
4Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry
bones, hear the word of the LORD.’
5“Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to
enter you that you may come to life.
6‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with
skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that
I am the LORD.’ ”
7So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a
noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its
8And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin
covered them; but there was no breath in them.
9Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say
to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O
breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.” ’ ”
10So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and
they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of
Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has
perished. We are completely cut off.’
12“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I
will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My
people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.
13“Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves
and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.
14“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will
place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have
spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’ ”
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 459:1 Christ Is Arisen
Christ is arisen
From the grave’s dark prison.
So let our joy rise full and free;
Christ our comfort true will be. Alleluia! Amen.

E. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.
1. All good things must come to an end.
A. All good things must come to an end.
1. There were many good kings of Judah, and the kingdom of Judah lasted for
2. There were also many bad kings.
3. But one thing that all the kings—whether good or bad—had in common was
4. From David to Zedekiah, the last king, the good and the bad, the king
and the commoner, they all meet in the grave.
2. The end for Judah and her kings was dead, nothing but dry bones.
A. This morning, we hear about what came after the last kings: exile in
1. There the prophet Ezekiel sees a vision, a valley of dry bones.
2. It symbolizes the complete destruction of the kingdom of Judah, the
whole house of Israel.
3. All that was left was bones, and those were very dry and lifeless.
4. Judah had abandoned the Lord, and he had visited his wrath on them.
5. Judah had refused to hear the prophets:
a. preferring to stone them instead,
b. throw them in pits,
c. and otherwise mistreat them,
d. and now Judah herself has no voice with which to call on God
B. The end had come.
1. The end of the kings,
2. the end of the temple,
3. the end of Israel itself.
4. So what does the future hold?
5. The people were in exile,
6. Jerusalem was now in ruins, with nothing even to go back to.
7. What could possibly redeem this situation?
3. Only the Creator of life can renew them.
A. New life is not found in dry bones.
1. Only the direct action of the Creator can bring renewal amid death.
2. The life-giving Spirit of God must breathe into them as the Word of God
a. “Prophesy, Son of Man, that these might live.”
4. But the Son of David did rise with new life.
A. The prophet Ezekiel speaks of a renewal of the kingdom.
1. And the people of Judah did return to Jerusalem.
2. They did rebuild:
a. the city,
b. her walls,
c. and the temple of the Lord.
3. Many thought this return was the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision.
4. But it was never the same.
a. The temple wasn’t the same;
b. the kingdom wasn’t the same.
5. Israel was constantly overrun by competing empires vying for global
6. Eventually, the greatest empire in history would conquer.
7. So-called kings would rule in Jerusalem, but Herod was only a puppet and
only questionably Jewish, certainly not of the house of David.
B. When the Son of David did come, he was rejected by his own people and
handed over to the Romans for death.
1. As he said:
a. “It is finished” (John 19:30), he gave up the Spirit and breathed his
2. But this Son of David, who said:
a. “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), could not see
b. The bones of Jesus were not broken and never dried.
c. He burst the tomb and brought life and immortality to light.
C. The Word of God made flesh tasted death and conquered death to speak
life again to his people.
1. The dry, lifeless bones of Israel are knit together into the Body of
Christ by the Word of his power and the Spirit of the living God.
D. The prophecy of Ezekiel would not be fulfilled until the Son of David
reigned and united God’s people back into one flock.
E. The Son of David Gives Us Life without End.
5. So our life in Christ will never come to an end.
A. No earthly thing will last forever.
1. But the kingdom of Jesus is not of this world, as he told Pontius
2. The life we now have is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.
3. The flesh will die, but our bodies are destined to be resurrected in
4. As we have believed in this life in Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes
away your sin and mine, we will live forever in the sanctuary of the Lord
and his presence.
5. We will forever live in the covenant of peace he has made by his blood.
B. We can be sure of one thing this Easter morning:
1. the best thing in the world will last forever.
2. The Son of David is our great king, and the life he gives will never
come to an end. Amen.
F. Let us pray:
LSB 457:2-3 Christ is arisen
Were Christ not arisen,
Then death were still our prison.
Now, with Him to life restored,
We praise the Father of our Lord. Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Now let our joy rise full and free;
Christ our comfort true will be. Alleluia! Amen.
Text: © 1969 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: LSB Hymn
License no. 110000247
G. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
H. In the Name of the Father…Amen.