‘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 (Ezekiel 37:4-5).
Our Lord God had carried Ezekiel away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley that was full of very dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1 NLT) and asked Ezekiel if the bones could become living people again (Ezekiel 37:3 NLT). Ezekiel, full of wisdom replied:
“O Sovereign Lord, you alone know the answer to that" (Ezekiel 37:4 NLT).
The Lord then instructed Ezekiel to:
Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again (Ezekiel 37:5 NLT).
As Ezekiel spoke, the dry bones came together with muscle and skin but did not breathe (Ezekiel 37:7-8). The Lord then told Ezekiel to prophecy again saying:
Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again (Ezekiel 37:9 NLT).
Ezekiel did that and:
... breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army (Ezekiel 37:10 NLT).
Then the Lord explains, through Ezekiel, that the bones represent the exiled Israelites in Babylon and that He will bring them out of captivity, back to Israel (Ezekiel 37:11-12 NLT). Of course we know that this was a prophecy that was fulfilled in the Old Testament. In the next verses though, we find that the prophecy changes to one that is fulfilled in the New Testament when God says;
.... I will put my Spirit in you.... (Ezekiel 37:14 NLT).
God never poured out His Spirit on the Jews when they returned from captivity. Instead He poured out the Holy Spirit on the Jews and the rest of humanity on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). This is what Jesus told his disciples about the coming of His Spirit:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (John 16:17).
After Jesus had been crucified and was the risen Lord, He gave these instructions to His disciples (and those that were with the disciples - Luke 24:37) before he ascended on high:
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49 ).
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Then on the day of Pentecost:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4).
One last thought, to make sure there is no doubt that Chapter 37 is a prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament, the Lord says:
My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people (Ezekiel 37:27).
And the Apostle Paul confirms this:
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:16).