Sermon for 03-01-20

Sermon for 03-01-20

Hebrews 5:7-10 Jesus’ Prayer Life

Jesus prayed with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death… Loud cries and tears? Is this what Jesus’ prayers sounded and looked like?

Back up to Hebrews 2:14-18 (read)

Jesus became like us, so that we could become like Him. Today let’s look again at Jesus and prayer.

Jesus is THE model of our Christian faith. Peter says that He gave us an example that we should follow in His steps. (1 Pet. 2:21). His example as well as his teachings are given to us so that we can be like Him. In fact, when God preserved the gospel for us, God didn’t just give us one or two books about Jesus. God preserved four gospels from four perspectives giving us both eye witness and well researched views of His only begotten Son, a clear picture of Jesus’ example that we might follow in His steps.

This is the Jesus we believe in. This is the same Christ we follow. This is the Son of God through whom we are saved, and in whose name we pray. Whenever you read the Bible and wonder if those miracles are real or if doubts arise in your minds, know this: Jesus prayed for you.

Every writer of the New Testament bears witness to prayer as a powerful spiritual exercise to reach out to the God we cannot see, through His Son who came so we could believe, be saved and someday enter His glory. I choose to believe. I choose to pray to the God I read about in the Bible. I choose to follow Jesus Christ, His Son, my Savior. Prayer helps me keep that choice alive and also serves to help the gospel spread to others.

While we have no living eye witnesses to the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, we have the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, two of whom were apostles, and two of whom gathered their information from many other eye witnesses of Jesus. Their accounts have been rigorously inspected and contested, supported and attacked for two thousand years. Everyone who studies them agrees on this: that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all are written with the intention of persuading their readers to faith in and following of Jesus. All the gospel writers WANTED their readers to believe what they wrote to be true, real, and historical, not allegorical or fictional. They were not writing legends but recording historical events.

History bears out that those closest to Jesus died, sometimes cruel deaths, claiming that Jesus, who was crucified, rose from the dead and is indeed the Son of God. They prayed to the God and Father of Jesus Christ, who put on flesh and blood to bring God to us and us to God. Prayer is reaching out to the Father through Jesus Christ, His Son, by means of His Holy Spirit. Prayer is spiritual exercise.

What about Jesus’ prayers? Hebrews 5:7 says that Jesus prayed with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and he was heard… That word “heard” means God answered His prayers. But… Did God save Jesus from death? Did Jesus not die on the cross? Yes, Jesus did die for our sins on the cross, but God answered His prayers. How? God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus’ prayers were heard and answered in the most powerful way possible. Jesus was put to death, and then Jesus, the author of life, the way, the truth and the life, put death to death. Listen to Peter in Acts 3:12-15. 2 Timothy 1:8-12 and Revelation 20:11-15. Jesus prayers were heard. He prayed and obeyed.

Here’s the beef. This church is a result of Jesus Christ, we are the product of Jesus’ prayers. You are here in answer to Jesus’ prayers. Do you believe that? God’s vision for our salvation and our church right here today is directly connected to Jesus’ prayers. We as the body of Christ, sealed, indwelled and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, born again a new creation in Christ, informed by the eternal word of God, called, chosen, saved, sanctified, given royal priesthood status, a holy nation, a people belonging to God… we are given access to God’s Holy throne through prayer, just as Jesus was! Just as Jesus was! Just… as… Jesus… was! Hear Jesus own words of prayer for you. John 17:20-23

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Let me read that last sentence one more time slowly:  May they be brought to complete unity, that the world may know that you have sent me… and have LOVED THEM EVEN AS YOU HAVE LOVED ME. 

Is there anyone here who is ready to become part of God’s answer to the prayers of Jesus? Anyone here in need of prayer?

Because God answered Jesus prayers, you are invited to belong to Him.