The Vision in Jerusalem

by J. Randal Matheny, editor

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In his vision of the defilement of the temple, Ezekiel is whisked away from Babylon, by the hair of his head, as the Lord transports him in the Spirit to Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8-11).

The Spirit lifted him up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he saw detestable things being done by Judah, each more repugnant than the previous one.

Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord abandon the temple because of the abominable things done there.

At the end of the vision, the Lord speaks of a time when Israel would be restored to the land and God would effect great changes among the people.

“I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within them; I will remove the hearts of stone from their bodies and I will give them tender hearts, so that they may follow my statutes and observe my regulations and carry them out. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NET).

The vision ends, as the Spirit lifted Ezekiel up again and brought him to the exiles in Babylon.

Ezekiel told the exiles everything the Lord had shown him.

When we eat the Supper of the Lord, we are, in a sense, lifted up by the Spirit and transported back to Jerusalem, at the feet of three crosses, to see the most detestable thing ever done by mankind: the crucifixion of the Son of God.

We sense the Lord being abandoned by his Father, as he cries out in agony from the separation and the land goes dark from the withdrawal of God.

But the Father raises him from the dead as a sign of his approval, and the time comes when men are given a new heart, when a new people is formed, and he becomes, in a way never before experienced, their God.

We finish eating and drinking, and we are brought back to our place and time, where we are strangers and exiles in the world.

And we tell all the Lord has shown us, so that others may share in this celebration of salvation.

For the vision of God’s new creation has now become reality.

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