Elisha's bones revive the dead
Podcast and outline
Elisha became sick, the illness ran its course, and Elisha died. He was not carried up into heaven the way his mentor Elijah was. That was not God’s plan or will for Elisha. Like countless others before and after him, Elisha simply became old, sick, and then died. Then they buried him.
This is one of the more unusual miracles in the Bible. There is no explanation about how or why this happened.
2 Kings 13:21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.
Dead man’s anointing
Elisha was dead. And yet when a corpse was thrown into his tomb hastily in an attempt to hide from marauding bands of Moabites, the man came back to life simply by his corpse touching Elisha’s bones.
The bones of Elisha almost seem to be the perfect proof-text for the power of relics. And so, no wonder we evangelicals are somewhat more reticent to talk about Elisha’s bones.
During his ministry, Elijah had performed 14 miracles by the power of God that rested upon him. If Elisha received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, he would perform at least 28 miracles. When he died, though, he had only performed twenty-seven miracles. This miracle of resurrection involving his bones made the 28th miracle performed.
Life from a Tomb
That that man was by an unexpected emergency cast into the sepulchre of Elisha when they wanted to bury him and, because the brigands came upon them, did not have time to make a grave.
They opened the cover of the sepulchre that was nearest, which was that of Elisha, and did not lay the dead person in it (for they did not have time for that), but threw in the corpse. When it had fallen to the bottom, it touched the bones of Elisha and came back to life.
In this story Elisha is a symbol of Jesus Christ, whose life and death are equally beneficial to both the dead and the living. The dead body got in contact with the bones of Elisha and life was revived in it.
There is a tomb that brings life — but this is the empty tomb of Jesus, risen from the dead. We’re grateful that there are no bones in the tomb of Jesus, and that in Him we are promised eternal life.
God can make you stand up on your feet, as this man did. He revives you, then he makes you stand, we are able to stand and live a life that counts in the context of eternity.
After Elisha was dead and buried, the dead body of a soldier was thrown hastily into the grave where Elisha lay. When the dead soldier’s body touched Elisha’s bones, the man revived and walked out of the tomb. God still spoke and God still moved through the bones of a dead prophet.
The power of resurrection
In the Old Testament when a dead man touched one prophet's bones he came to life. In the New Testament when Jesus touches dead people they come to life.
Luke 7:11-15 (The Message) Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you: Get up.” The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.