Hebrews 5: 7-10
During my devotions this a.m., I read these verses. “During his earthly life Christ offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the One who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion.” (NASB reverence) Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. And being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, and he was designated by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” (NET)
I was sick and had arisen late, therefore leaving my devotion time short to set before the Lord and listen. Ah, but the grace of God, he continued to speak to me as I went about my day until I had to go back to my Bible and journal and write down these thoughts.
God kept tying in with Heb. 5:7 the verse, “You have not for you ask not.” Finally I came back and read these verses again in different versions and looking up the cross reference of Phil, 2:5-11 “You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death- even death on a cross! As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow- in heaven and on earth and under the earth- and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Then reading down to Phil. 2:12b-13 … “continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence. (fear and trembling) For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
There are so many implications, so many questions to be answered in these verses. Heb. 5:7 …prayer and supplication with loud cries and tears to save him from death…was heard because of his devotion. Obviously this was not physical death from which he was saved.
He learned obedience through the things he suffered and being perfected in the way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Was Christ ever disobedient? No, that would be sin.
Dr. Bookman teaches that Christ surrendered the exercise of his deity to the Holy Spirit. Thus he walked upon the earth in the same enabling as any earthly believing man has access to.
Thus we are without excuse, for we are not tempted above what we are able. I am convinced here we have our way of escape, which is certainly not by the strength of the flesh or the power of our will.
So the death we speak of here, is it not obviously spiritual death?
Matt. 10:27-28 “What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in light. And what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house tops. And fear not them which kill the body, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The rest of the chapter adds to the context but for now I will stick here.
Why was Jesus so fearful of spiritual death? Did he not believe the Father would raise him? Was Jesus lacking faith? Here I think it is important to remember what Bookman teaches about Jesus walking on earth as a man, surrendering the exercise of his deity to the Holy Spirit. So then, the spiritual power that he receives is only that which the Holy Spirit gives unto Him. Hebrews 5:7 begins, “In the days of his flesh…” 4:15 adds, “We do not have a high Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Could we not conclude then, therefore in the flesh Jesus had the same war with the flesh, in order to obey the Father, as we do with a couple of key exceptions.
One of which would be the intensity of the temptation. Jesus is looking at the brutally cruel death of the cross, which others including Peter have also had to face, but Jesus will have laid upon him the sin of all mankind, and with it the shame and worst the separation from the Father God.
Secondly Jesus must do it without sin, any sin. If he truly walked as a man and was truly tempted in every respect as a man, then did not the very real possibility, even probability of sin have to exist? What if Jesus sinned before a holy and just God? What if He in his flesh did not wholly obey the Father? Would that not be sin? Is not the wages of sin death…spiritual death…separation from God forever?
So if Jesus failed to obey God, not only could he not pay for our sins, because he would not be the spotless Lamb of God; but he himself would be condemned under sin and would not be raised from the dead to eternal life. He too must have been endanger of the great white throne judgment of Revelations 20:14-15 where death and hell are cast into the lake of fire, this is the second death.
Do we not also see the reality of this struggle in Luke 22:44 “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Did not Satan utter every lie he has ever spoken to man at our would be Savior, as Jesus knelt at Gethsemane? Was he not tempted to doubt God’s love, faithfulness and maybe even power to raise him.
Was he not reminded of the sheer impossibility of a man to walk what he would walk without a trace of sin even if he chose to obey by going to the cross? Can any man really let men unjustly do everything they can possibly do to inflict pain, shame, agony and death upon you without any bitterness or hatred? Can you endure the desertion and rejection of those you have loved so completely, and are now pouring out your life for? Can you endure when even God, your father, turns his face from you.
Can any man honestly answer yes, to all this? Jesus is very truth; there is no lie in him, no denial, and no underestimation. What God has asked him to do is not only incomparable agony and sacrifice but totally impossible for a man. Jesus knew it!!! Yet, he did not give in to Satan’s lie that God is not good or he would not ask such an impossible thing. NO, instead Jesus turned to the God with whom nothing is impossible and he humbly, in utter dependence, cried loudly with tears for the enabling of God Almighty to do His will! He sought God with all his heart and he found him; he was heard because of his devotion or reverence. Perhaps even fear of God, fear of separation from God forever, should this not be all men’s greatest fear?
Heb. 5:8 “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.”
Now finally it begins to make sense to me. The battle was won at Gethsemane where Jesus fought and laid down his own flesh (by the power of God.) When there was nothing left of himself… so much so that angels were sent to strengthen him to go to the cross…there he ceased from his own works and found the enabling, the faith, even rest perhaps to go to the cross in obedience and for the glory of The Father. He found the strength of God in his utter weakness and peace that passes understanding that we see exhibited on Jesus Christ’s journey to and on the cross. Christ’s journey of a Lamb, a journey of concern and love for others midst his own suffering, Pilot, Mary and each of us. A journey that would not, could not fail, for it was upheld, kept by the power of God Almighty.
Oh yes, Jesus was and is a Man of War. Here he won the victory not with the sword, not by dealing death to others in word or deed but by laying down his own life in submission to God and loving his enemies.
Even as he fought the battle he instructed his disciples one last time in the way of victory, a lesson the disciples would sleep through and succumb to the flesh, and thus fail the test by deserting and denying their Lord. Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
However the Great Author and Finisher or their faith was not done. Already he had prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. First he would set the example of victory as he goes forth to complete God’s work to pay for their sins and mine on the cross. After he is raised he returns to gather his scattered sheep and lead them on to faithfulness on that narrow path of death which leads to eternal life. We as men flee that so feared path, except by the grace of God, choosing rather to continue on our path of eternal destruction.
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion (for anything but God), evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” Col. 3:3-6
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling….Seek and ye shall find… Ye have not for ye ask not. I ask Lord, you are the only source.