The Revelation of the ‘Son of Man’
While working on my book for NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), I came across an interesting conversation Jesus was having with Nicodemus, a Pharisee who had visited Jesus in the late hours of the night to inquire of him about eternal life.
Nicodemus recognized Jesus to be sent from God and Jesus responded to Nicodemus with this statement ‘no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again and thus, it prompts a conversation between them.
Christ told Nicodemus he must first be reborn of the Spirit. Nicodemus questioned what Christ meant, and this is when our Messiah alludes to the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”John 3:5-8
In the above, Jesus uses the Greek word ‘pneuma’ as a form of wordplay. He used it to mean both wind, breath, and Spirit.
Christ was essentially making reference to two things—Genesis 2 where God breathed into man and he became a living soul and Ezekiel 37, where God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones.
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”Ezekiel 37:9
At this point, Nicodemus probably caught onto the reference, but still didn’t understand what Christ was saying. Jesus then tells Nicodemus in verse 13 that no man has ever gone to heaven, except for the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
Earlier, in John 1, Jesus used this same terminology to Nathaniel, who had properly assessed that Jesus was the Son of God and King of Israel. This statement Jesus had made earlier was in reference to Jacob’s ladder.
But now, Jesus had fully taken on the title, Son of Man—but where did it come from?
It came from Ezekiel, where God called Ezekiel ‘son of man’ and then gave Ezekiel a command to prophesy to the breath to enter the dry bones so that they would live.
We know that this reference ‘son of man’ was a prophecy of Christ because as we further read into Ezekiel, we see God saying to the nation of Israel that David would be their prince forever and that God will dwell among them, making His sanctuary with them forever.
They will all have one shepherd, as long as they keep God’s laws and follow His decrees. And John tells us that Jesus is the living Word and fulfillment of the law. So, basically, Jesus told Nicodemus that those who believe in Him (Christ) will be granted eternal life.
This is also the first instance that Jesus acknowledges His oneness with the Father by calling himself the Son of Man—the same God who gave life to the dry bones in the times of Ezekiel.
He then takes on all the titles listed in Ezekiel 37. He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11; Ezekiel 37:24), the Son of David (Matthew 21:15; Ezekiel 37:24), the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; Ezekiel 37:26), and the Servant (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:3; Ezekiel 37:25).
After His resurrection, Jesus fulfilled His promise of eternal life through the Holy Spirit in John 20:22 when He breathed on His disciples and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit.
He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”Ezekiel 37:3
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Yes, whatever dry bones that are in your life can live again.
It may be dry finances or a dry marriage.
You may find that your once vibrant relationship with God is beginning to run dry.
Don’t despair because there is hope!
The Son of man can breathe life into your situation. So prophecy to the dry bones,
‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ” (Ezekiel 37:4-6 NKJV)