And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. —2 Kings 13:20-21
This is one of the most bizarre events in the Bible. Elisha was one of Israel’s greatest prophets. Nevertheless, he was human and humans die and are put in a grave. But, just because a person has died and been laid in a grave does not mean their ministry is over. The death of the man of God did not mean the death of the God of man!
The living God could still work through the death of His prophet. Like Abel, who being dead, yet speaketh (Heb. 11:4), Elisha, though he was dead, still exuded God’s power! God used the bare bones of Elisha to speak through. It was a symbol of what God wanted to say to the “dead” nation of Israel. If they would again make contact with God and they would live!
There are some wonderful lessons for us today from this fascinating account of the virtue of Elisha’s bones. As Elisha’s faithfulness lived on in power after his death, and so can ours. The Bible teaches the influence of a godly life can help bring life to others, even after we are gone! We should so live that our life continues to minister even after death…our ministry can last longer than we can!
If the Lord took you home today, would your life still impact lives long after you’re gone? A “bare bones” ministry can only happen after we have fleshed out a life of faith now! Give God something to work with after you are dead by how you live for Him today.
Another important lesson from this fascinating account of a dead man who comes life by contact with another dead man—It is a picture of how we must “die to self” before God can produce life in those we come in contact with who are dead in trespasses and sin. God uses death to bring life to others who are dead. To be effective in ministering to the lost, even as Elisha was dead, you must die to self (Mt. 10:39; 16:24; John 12:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:31).
When you die to self, life will spring forth. People will be touched. Lives will be changed.