September 16, 2010

Praying with Jesus

Being Betrayed Today

“Then He came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

Matthew 26:45

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Eternal Life

  Twice Jesus commanded His disciples to watch and pray while He prayed alone.  After finding them asleep yet again, He now tells them that the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.  This passage helps us know more about Jesus, and His relationship to sinners.

       Jesus knew about His future.  He was not surprised by the betrayal of Judas Iscariot.  He had said that He chose all twelve disciples, and “one of you is a devil . . . . ”  Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him (John 6:70-71).  Furthermore, during the last supper with His disciples, Jesus told them: “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me” (John 13:21).  Jesus then said: “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.  So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot” (John 13:26).  Jesus concluded by saying to Judas, “What you do, do quickly” (John 13:27).  Because Jesus knew about the agonizing events before Him, He prayed agonizing prayers.  He did not run from His future, He embraced it as the will of God.

      Jesus had explicitly predicted that His hour had come for the Son of Man to be glorified (John 12:23).  Jesus compared His life to a grain of wheat falling into the earth and dying: “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).  As Jesus gave this proclamation concerning His impending death, He also described inner unease: “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’  But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12:27).  At all times, Jesus comprehended that His purpose was to die, so that the Father would be glorified and He would bear much fruit.  Jesus then said: “‘Father, glorify Your name.’  Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again'” (John 12:28).  Jesus understood that His mission on earth included dying for sinners, so that He would pay the price for their sin, so that He could save everyone who called upon Him by faith alone for forgiveness and salvation because of His death and resurrection.  Perhaps today you want to ask Jesus to forgive you.  Now is the time.  If you believe that Jesus really knew about His death, and its purposes, and especially that He gave His life for your sins, He will forgive you, just ask Him in faith.  He loves sinners, just like me and you.

       Judas will show up shortly, offer a kiss of identification to the soldiers and officers who will arrest Jesus, and complete the role of betrayer, so that Judas will always be known as the son of perdition (John 17:12; perdition (“ἀπωλείας“) means utter destruction, hell).  Jesus will surrender peacefully, perform a healing, and give Himself into their hands for ultimate crucifixion.  He knew His purpose, and had fortified Himself spiritually with prayer, so that He endured the punishment and then the cross, for my sake and yours.  He paid the perfect, ultimate and only price for our sin, by dying and rising for me and you.

            So, we learn some more about sharing and praying with Christ.

         ●  We learn to pray by praying when we understand the troubles before us, and prepare for them spiritually through praying about them.  We need to pray, even when our friends in Christ sleep.

         ●  We learn to pray better when we understand that betrayal will come our way, but it never surprises our heavenly Father or the Lord Jesus Christ.  He knows just what it feels like to be betrayed, and He prayed about it, and everything facing Him.  We need to pray like Jesus. 

        ●  We hinder our prayers when we do not allot sufficient time and strength to pray for all the problems in life, and to face them after we have prayed for spiritual strength and commitment to do the will of God. 

Application for Today

        Today, I want to pray like Jesus in the Garden.  I want to face my life with the certainty that my God knows everything I will face: every betrayal, every suffering, every problem, every matter that comes my way, He knows about beforehand.  So, even before I know, He knows.  I want to submit my will moment by moment to His plans to use my life for His glory.  Even while He knew He was being betrayed, Jesus prayed.  Will you pray today and encourage your friends in Christ to pray beforehand?