Sunday, 26 January 2020

Jesus' Final Prayer

Scripture:  John 17 v 1 - 5: "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

Throughout His life on Earth Jesus communicated with His Father in Heaven, sometimes He would spend all night alone with His Father praying and receiving answers, confirmation, visions, words to meet every need.

The Father sent Jesus here from a place called Heaven which is our home.  We came from there originally and will return there for eternity if we have overcome the evil of this present world and resisted sin.  Heaven is a beautiful place without sin, sickness or death.

We were separated from there to here because of Satan and sin and how we got contaminated by it.  It brought disease and death, hatred and war, depravity and destruction even to the first of our kind and to every soul that ever lived in a human body, except for One.

Jesus was born without sin.  He is and was perfect every way.  He came to give us a better than average chance of survival, even for the weakest among us.  There was only one way sin could be conquered. Jesus had to take it on fully and let it kill Him.

The first phase of this act of love was the forty day temptation by the devil in the Wilderness when Jesus fasted the whole time drinking water only.  He withstood every temptation using the power of the Word of God as His sword.

The second phase was in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus knew He had been betrayed and it was time to suffer and die.  He went to commune with His Father even to the anguish of asking if the cup of agony could pass from Him, but He said, Nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done.  Perfect submission to the Father.  He was in such anguish that He sweated drops of blood.

There have been times where my free will clashed with God's will for me.  Where it was needed for me to do the hard thing, and submit.  I found if I applied the Blood Jesus sweated in Gethsemane it was easier to yield to the will of God.

Then He was arrested and whipped with 39 lashes across His back.  The whips contained metal hooks that ripped the flesh from His Body... The Word says By His stripes we are healed.  There is a whiplash for every category of disease.  Believe it and receive it.

On the Cross He became a magnet that drew every human spirit into Himself.  The dead, the living, those not yet born, we all became one with Him.  He said if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me.  We were crucified with Him.  He downloaded our sins onto Himself because the wages of sin is death.

The thief on the Cross next to Him cried, Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom, remember me!  Jesus answered, This day you will be with Me in Paradise.  Paradise is the compartment of Hell where the righteous dead stayed, and Jesus was going to fetch them.  The thief was probably the last to go there before Jesus died.  He would have told the inhabitants of Paradise something like, You will never guess who is about to be in our midst!

Jesus made Himself known to them, and we were in Him when He died and went into the lower parts of the Earth.  He whipped Satan in front of all his demons, and all the people in Paradise, and took from him the keys (authority) of Hell and Death.  Then He, including us, and all the believing dead, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Noah, David, the Prophets rose with Him.

Matthew 27 v  51 - 54: "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God."

Many people saw and witnessed all these happenings except Mary Magdalene.  John 20 v 15 - 17: "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16  Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

This first ascension was to present the Holy people of old to His Father in Heaven and then return to reveal Himself to His disciples on the road to Emmaus, or in the Upper Room, or on the shores of Galilee.

The Ascension of Jesus followed forty days later with the Lord saying, Wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come upon you from My Father, and you will receive power to be witnesses to Me.  Exactly ten days later the Holy Spirit came with a sound like a mighty rushing wind and empowered them with gifts He still gives to believers today.  Healing, Miracles, Speaking in tongues, Interpreting tongues, Prophecy, Discerning of spirits of good and evil, The Word of Knowledge, The Word of Wisdom, Faith to believe in miracles.

With these gifts and our relationship to God we can turn the world upside down.  We can preach the gospel with signs following.  We can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, open blind eyes. Nothing is impossible to them that believe in Jesus.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus' final prayer was for us all to find salvation and be one with the Trinity of God.  We are already forgiven and need only to repent i.e. change our minds about being slaves to sin, and be baptised in water to make it home.  Father there is much falseness, and strong resistance but we will fight the good fight to extend Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.