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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

GREAT LENT - Day 39: Thursday

"The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me," Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered," O Lord God, you know." Then he said to me," Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord." (Ezekiel 37:1-6)

This passage in Ezekiel's prophecy is known as "the valley of dry bones." Centuries before the coming of Christ, God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and disclosed to him through this significant vision the hope of the resurrection. God led Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones and asked him, "Mortal, can these bones live?" The prophet responded: "O Lord God, you know." Afterward, God resurrected the dry bones, dressed them in the flesh, and granted them the breath of life. Ezekiel, who stood in fear from this vision of death, became an eyewitness to God's power, which can bring forth life from death. Ezekiel witnessed the miracle of hope.

This hope was also revealed in the morning hours of Easter — Zadeek — to the women who had brought myrrh and oil to Christ's tomb. They were still walking through the "valley of death," disheartened, hopeless, and struck by fear because they were present at the crucifixion of Christ and had seen His breathless body. But what the women encountered upon their arrival at the empty tomb was the hope of the resurrection and the Good News of life. Christ uprooted all their fears and inspired the women with the assurance of hope, which would become revolutionary for the entire world.

Indeed, God miraculously fulfilled the prophecy declared in Ezekiel's vision in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Son of God came down to earth and suffered a painful death. He was crucified on the cross and died a shameful death for our sins. But, through His resurrection, He granted us a new life. Thereafter, the Holy Spirit of God descended in the upper room, where His disciples were gathered, and gifted the new breath of life to human beings in agreement with the Word of God that said, "I will put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord."

Apostle Paul gives a beautiful image of this to the church in Ephesus. He writes, "You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world… But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5)

The salvation offered to us through our Lord Jesus Christ is humanity's greatest hope. The best news for human hearts is that God has not abandoned His children. Whenever you are in difficulties or troubles or even walking through the valley of death, you have reason never to forsake the hope offered in Christ. We have experienced the power of the resurrection and know the miracle of hope. Even in dire circumstances, stand firm in the hope whose name is Jesus Christ.

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