“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared,” Hebrews 5:7.
Prayer That Perfects
Intense, sweaty, stomach churning, heart breaking, face to the ground praying occurred in the garden that cool evening by the Son of Man. Luke describes the prayer of Jesus as agony. “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Jesus, God the Son, was not afraid of dying, nor was He afraid of the suffering He would soon face, and, yet, in His human flesh He felt the overwhelming sense of the burden of sin He must bear for all. His heart ached knowing that the Father must turn His face away while He bore the sins of humanity.
While Jesus poured His heart out to God the Father, His disciples slept. But the loving Father touched by the prayer of His Son sent an angel to minister to Him. Even though, Jesus felt every ounce of sin placed on Him because He was sinless. He still loves us so much that He was willing to bear sin for us. His heart was broken for us. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
The sufferings of Jesus were necessary. Through them He related to the suffering of mankind to the fullest human extent.
“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28.
“Even as” has the connotation that whatever one is doing, it parallels something or someone else. Christ is definitely an impeccable example to follow.
Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). When we walk in His Light, there is no way we can not be good examples. Sounds like a great deal with an awesome guarantee. Follow Him, and you will be an example to follow. Paul invited his disciples to follow him as he followed Christ. We have many little and big people hanging onto our shirt tails. If we are walking in Jesus’ Light, they can’t go wrong.
When I was a child, I thought my grandfather, Allen Riley, was God. I followed him everywhere. He was a four foot eleven inch, Irish leprechaun with curly black eyebrows across his forehead. I basically worshiped him. He could do no wrong. Then, I grew up and could easily rest my arm on his shoulder, but he never stopped being ten feet tall. Many people will excel or fall because of their example. If our example is a reflection of Jesus, those who follow us can’t go astray as they follow Jesus in us.
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23, 24).
When we look down the path of a Christian’s life, we see two sets of footprints, one behind the other. When there’s only one set of prints, Jesus is carrying somebody on His shoulders.