Somebody gave me a creamy white cross. It was about the size of a piece of costume jewellery and I looked it over carefully because I had not seen anything like it before.

It was hand made and smooth with a slight sheen, and the more I looked at it and handled it, the more I liked it. In fact it took on personality and it seemed to come alive in its own way.

I was shocked to be told it was crafted from the old bone of a dead cow. It was astounding that long after it had died this part of the cow, at least, could have new life and take on new attributes.

So bones have importance and all over the world there are dead bones, not just of creatures but of people. They are in graves, in unknown places, and in the depths of the sea, and we share their tragic legacy.

Even Joseph, virtually Prime Minister of Egypt at its height, considered where his bones should rest and told the children of Israel take them up with them to the promised land (See Exodus 13:19). Joseph's faith was confirmed in the famous faith chapter in Paul's letter to the Hebrews. He said, some three hundred years or more after Joseph’s death, the children of Israel remembered Joseph's command.

I think Joseph believed that the Lord would establish his kingdom through Israel and when the day of resurrection came, he wanted to be in God's Kingdom. Later on, the Lord even tested Ezekiel on the idea of dead bones when Ezekiel was shown a valley full of dead bones and the Lord asked him, "Can these bones live?" (Ezekiel 37:3).

God demonstrated a picture here for Ezekiel, and said old bones will be restored and they will come to life and be real people and the bones were given sinews and flesh and they breathed the air we breathe.

Such life is the prerogative of the Lord as Job had already declared, "Thine hands have made me and fashioned me." (Job 10:8), and in verse 11 he says, "Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh and hast fenced me with bones and sinews."

Jesus himself confirms that He identifies with us. After His resurrection He said, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39).

So there is a future of reality for dead bones and my little cross, made of dead bone, reminds me of it.

Jesus did not come from the grave as a spirit, He came as a real person because in verse 42 He asked for food and His disciples gave Him honeycomb and broiled fish "and he took it and did eat before them." A little later in verse 51 Luke tells us that "while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven."

Then in Romans 6:5 Paul says emphatically that "we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" and in his letter to the Ephesians that "we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones" (Ephesians 5:30).

So now my little cross of old bone is a keepsake that Jesus is what we shall be. He is for real and He is one of us.

Elizabeth Price