Theology in the song “Skeleton Bones” by Robin McMillan


Note fromJohn Mark:

This week I’ve ask some close friends to comment on the theology of my “resurrection songs”. Today I’m posting comments by someone who may be my biggest influence: My Dad!

Robin McMillan is the senior pastor of Queen City Church and also has a sweet blog.  Be sure to check it out:

Theology in “Skeleton Bones” by Robin McMillan

John Mark writes authentic songs, personal expressions reflecting his insight into the heart of God. He communicates his own brand of faith with nonreligious language that makes sense to him and deeply touches his generation and others.

Skeleton Bones is one of those songs. Some have found the term skeleton morbid or negative nevertheless the Lord Himself commanded the prophet Ezekiel to speak to a valley of ‘skeleton bones’. It didn’t seem to bother the Lord or, hopefully, the prophet. Ezekiel said that when he prophesied to them they literally rattled as they came together (Ezekiel 37:7). That’s the sound resurrecting dead people must make, especially those dead for hundreds or thousands of years.

‘Peel back our ribs’, a heart cry for intimacy, describes accurately the act of God in Genesis when He operated on Adam, peeled back a rib, and made a woman from it (Genesis 2:21-23). How could Adam not love her. She came from him (Adam), and Him (the Lord).

Who would not want the Lord to ‘peel back the veil of time’ so that we can see Him, the timeless One (see Isaiah 64:1). Those who love Him want to see Him so they can love Him more. Its the desire to love God more that sneaks into John Mark’s songs over and over…’we just wanna love you, we just wanna love you‘.

The phrase, ‘skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity on the lips of the found’ speaks of the resurrection of the dead for those upon whose lips are the confession of faith in Him and His salvation. It takes a mouth and a heart. ‘For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’ (Romans 10:10).

‘Separate those doors and let the sun of resurrection in’ is a plea for each of us to open the doors of our hearts to the light of the One who died for us and was raised from the dead for our justification.

‘We want your blood inside our bodies’ reflects the song writer’s desire for intimacy based on the very intent of Jesus the night before He was betrayed when He instituted the mystery of communion: Eat my body, drink my blood, He said (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

‘We want your wind inside our lungs’, expresses the desire to be a ‘God-breathed’ person; like Adam in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7), like the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2) when they breathed the rarified air of heaven. In both cases God released a supernatural life that changed Eden and changed the world. God…breathe into your people again. That’s John Marks song! That’s my prayer for His church too.

Skeleton Bones 
Peel back our ribs again
and stand inside of our chest.
We just wanna’ love you
 We just wanna’ love you
Peel back the veil of time
And let us see You with our naked eyes
We just wanna’ love you
We just wanna’ love you
Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity
On the lips of the found
And gravestones roll
To the rhythm of the sound of you
Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity
On the lips of the found
So separate those doors
And let the sun of resurrection in.
Oh let us adore the
Son of Glory dress ed in love
Open up your gates before him
Crown Him, stand Him up
We want your blood to flow inside our body
We want your wind inside our lungs
We just wanna’ love you
We just wanna’ love you

Robin McMillan
Sr. Pastor, Queen City Church
church website:


  1. Will said:

    Interesting. I love this song, it’s great to see it laid out!

  2. Melanie said:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. Its’ my boys’ (8 and 9) favorite, as well! 🙂 I quoted some of your lyrics from this song in one of my own blog entries awhile back – titled it “A Friend, a Tapestry… and Skeleton Bones.” 🙂 Thanks JMM for capturing the cry of our hearts in so many of your lyrics!! Much love to you from just one small thread in the tapestry. 😉

  3. Terrence said:

    Hi John,
    I’m so happy to see this series! I have often said a lot of your songs are perfect for any moment when the theme of Resurrection is talked about(which should be all the time!). I wrote my own “theological analysis” Skeleton Bones and Carbon Ribs last year. That’s what I love about your lyrics. They inspire me and make me think,and they help me live. I love the voice that you have given to worshippers like me.And I love that you are taking your music to different people and environments.Thank you!

  4. Love seeing deconstruction of meaningful song lyrics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: