Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through Ezekiel in my quiet time, which has been a great education. There are many reasons why not many of us would want to be in Ezekiel’s shoes. But there are maybe some reasons why we should feel quite jealous. Because he has some incredible encounters with Christ that leave us in little doubt that the way God the Father does business with Ezekiel is through his Son.
Ezekiel 40:2-4 left me reeling with excitement when I read it yesterday. Try this: ‘In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. He took me there and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me ‘Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here.’
Strangely similar to Daniel’s vision of a man ‘dressed in linen, with a belt of gold around is waist…his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze..’ Daniel 10:6
Let’s get a further idea of Ezekiel’s experience…
Chapter 1 Verse 3
‘the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest…’ (John makes it clear that Jesus is the eternal word of the Lord in his prologue, who has always made the Father known. Click here for further discussion of this. )
‘Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire…this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.’
Ezekiel reaches the awesome conclusion that this is the one who is the ‘appearance of the likeness’, the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) who makes God known.
This man, Christ, then goes on to call Ezekiel and instruct him.
‘The hand of the Lord was upon me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the LORD was standing there like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell face down.’
Points to note:
· The word in chapter 1 of Ezekiel ‘by the Kebar river’ has now been confirmed as this man, if we were in doubt!
· This is one who is known as the glory of the Lord, who is worshipped. We must bear in mind that we know that it cannot be the Father because he is invisible (John 1:18).
In chapter 43:2 his voice is described as being ‘like the rushing of waters’, the same as John’s description of Christ in Revelation 1:15.
There is so much there in Ezekiel! But its already been a very long post. Hopefully though we can see that Christ is the word of the Lord- the glory of the Lord- the man sent and forever calling his church to himself, warning the world of his judgement and holding out the promise of the Lord’s everlasting covenant.