Ezekiel 22:29-31, Intercessors, John 19:26-27, John 19:28-30, John 3:16-19, Luke 23:27-31, Luke 23:33-38, Luke 23:39-43, Matthew 26:45-46, Praying for others, Praying for others in our suffering, Psalm 22:1, Revelation 1:7-8, Standing in the GAP!, suffering selflessly, Suffering With Jesus
Pray For Someone Else??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #19
Say what? I want us to consider taking our Lord’s advice and example. What do I mean? Well, what I mean is that our Lord was in excruciating pain, yet HE chose to pray for us in His hour of greatest need (in the human perspective); He took that time of extreme distress and prayed for the forgiveness of those who were ridiculing HIM, those who were mocking HIM, those who were oblivious of what was really happening, as well as those of us who would need redemption so far down the road—you and me—in fact for all who would receive His saving grace in repentance and faith in His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice which HE completed that day!! He also extended grace to a dying thief, hanging next to Him, when he asked for it! He didn’t stop there; He also appointed the Apostle John to care for His mother!
One of the few things that Jesus said in regard to Himself, was recorded by Matthew and Mark:
“Now from the sixth hour
there was darkness over all the land
unto the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour
Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?
that is to say,
My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 26:45-46
And even this was to fulfill scripture:
“My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me?
why art thou so far
from helping me,
and from the words
of my roaring?” Psalm 22:1.
(And I would encourage you to read Psalm 22 in its entirety!)
Jesus came to die in our place and even in this time when physical pain was racking his body, mind and spirit, His main thought was of we who are ever in need of His grace and love. Yet when we are in pain what is our first thought? Usually, to moan and complain to God and man (maybe you’re better than I am, but that is usually my ‘go to’ choice); but I’m calling us to take the example of Jesus and learn to take those moments of anguish and pain and become Christ-like intercessors. So, let’s look at what Jesus said on His way to Calvary, as well as His final words from the cross, and take them to heart—for He spoke those words directed toward not only those who were physically present, but to you and me today!
“And there followed him a great company of people,
and of women,
which also bewailed
and lamented him.
28 But Jesus turning unto them said,
Daughters of Jerusalem,
weep not for me,
but weep for yourselves,
and for your children.
29 For, behold, the days are coming,
in the which they shall say,
Blessed are the barren,
and the wombs that never bare,
and the paps which never gave suck.
30 Then shall they begin to say
to the mountains,
Fall on us;
and to the hills,
31 For if they do these things in a green tree,
what shall be done in the dry?” Luke 23:27-31
To put it simply, Jesus was telling them, even though you see this with your own eyes, this is NOT the end, and worse things will come—but never a better, except for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, JESUS—crucified, buried yet raised again to ever live and have victory over sin, death, and hell!
“Behold, he cometh with clouds;
and every eye shall see him,
and they also which pierced him:
and all kindreds of the earth
shall wail because of him.
Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega,
and the ending,
saith the Lord,
and which was,
and which is to come,
the Almighty.” Revelation 1:7-8
So, back to the cross:
“And when they were come to the place,
which is called Calvary,
there they crucified him,
and the malefactors,
one on the right hand,
and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus,
Father, forgive them;
for they know not what they do.
And they parted his raiment,
and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding.
And the rulers also with them
derided him, saying,
He saved others;
let him save himself,
if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also
coming to him,
and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying,
If thou be the king of the Jews,
38 And a superscription also was written
over him in letters
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Luke 23:33-38
With their own eyes they saw Him, with their own ears they had heard Him, with their own hearts they rejected HIM! How about you? For HE continued in compassion, love, and grace to shed HIS life’s blood for them, for you, and for me! Will we receive it or reject, rebuke, and ridicule the LORD of all creation—the Redeemer of all who will believe and come to HIM alone for salvation! The ultimate of examples of man’s opportunity and Christ Jesus’ offer of grace even when rejection seems to rule.
“And one of the malefactors
which were hanged railed on him, saying,
If thou be Christ,
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying,
Dost not thou fear God,
seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we
for we receive the due reward
of our deeds:
but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus,
Lord, remember me
when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him,
Verily I say unto thee,
shalt thou be with me
in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43
Which one will you be? The rejector or the acceptor—one who will receive grace and eternal life or the condemnation justly due?
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.” John 3:16-19
Let’s look at the last few things that Jesus said from the cross, for our perusal and consideration. What do you/I “care” about?
“When Jesus therefore saw his mother,
and the disciple standing by,
whom he loved,
he saith unto his mother,
Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple,
Behold thy mother!
And from that hour that disciple
took her unto his own home.” John 19:26-27
And the other human request that Jesus made:
Jesus knowing that all things
were now accomplished,
that the scripture might be fulfilled,
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar:
and they filled a spunge with vinegar,
and put it upon hyssop,
and put it to his mouth.
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar,
It is finished:
and he bowed his head,
and gave up the ghost.” John 19:28-30
So, the thing I want us to consider, is this precious thing that Jesus did in HIS most difficult hour; HE thought of others when HIS own need was beyond our understanding. What will you and I do when we are in need? When we don’t know what to do, or where to go; will we take heart from our Redeemer and keep our focus on others? Will we pray “Father forgive THEM”, or hold onto our grudges; will we pray “Father into thine hands….” and let it go, or will we stubbornly hold onto our own way, our own needs, our own problems? Or will we pray for those in need around us, for those we know are serving God in precarious circumstances, for those who need an intercessor desperately? Will we follow our Lord into battle for the needy, or moan and groan about the place that God has allowed us to be in? It’s your choice, and mine! Please, Father, teach us to remember to rehearse the commands of The Master, “THY kingdom come…THY will be done”, not only for me but those around me with needs greater than mine. May I remember to count my blessings, and stand in the gap for others as God called and equipped us to do? Ezekiel said it best, and I’ll close with his message from God. Will you join me in praying for others, seeking God’s face on behalf of those in need, especially when we are hurting, in pain, in confusion, or just stumped physically or spiritually; God is never ‘stumped’, nor does HE ever say “oooops”? May we ever “stand in the gap” instead of focusing on self—speaking the “truth in love”—but speaking GOD’S TRUTH—not man’s; and lifting other to the throne of grace!
“The people of the land have
and exercised robbery,
and have vexed the poor and needy:
yea, they have oppressed
the stranger wrongfully.
30 And I sought for a man among them,
that should make up the hedge,
and stand in the gap
before me for the land,
that I should not destroy it:
but I found none.
31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation
I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath:
their own way have I recompensed
upon their heads,
saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 22:29-31
How sad! God have mercy!!! Amen and Amen!!!