15 THE LORD'S HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER-Jesus went to a place called Gethsemane, an olive grove garden outside the city of Jerusalem with His disciples. In the grounds of Gethsemane, Jesus expressed His commitment to do The Father's will even though he had become exhausted with sorrow, as predicted by the prophet Isaiah 53:3, because of His death to come. Taking the sin of mankind upon Himself, would cause Him to be separated from The Father, because God in His Holiness cannot look upon sin, it has to be removed from His presence, and He would remove the sin of mankind from God's presence with His death and resurrection. His disciples were too tired to stay awake with Him and join in prayer. Jesus was obedient in temptation throughout His life, and at this His darkest hour, which is a stark reversal of the situation in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus prayed for His present disciples and for future believers, that they realize they are no longer part of the world's system and that they may be brought to complete unity with God and each other, kept safe and given joy. This is truly The Lord's Prayer, prayed by Jesus, as The Great High Priest on the night just prior to His betrayal. He consecrated Himself and interceded for His Church and the mission work He has commissioned His disciples to be carried out amongst the nations.
Jesus knew He had completed His work and mission on earth, His affirmation of The Cross and of His return to the fellowship and glory that He possessed together with The Father before the world began. Before Christ came into the world, He dwelt in Heaven in the presence of The Father. The angels knew of His glory, of His Deity. While on earth His Deity was veiled in a human body. Jesus speaks of His own pre-existence as God. He came in obedience to do The Father's Will and He had represented The Father to mankind, and He prayed on behalf of believers before The Throne of God.
He asked that He may glorify The Father in the completion of the work The Father had sent Him to do. Christ, as High Priest prayed that His disciples be granted eternal life, and a totality of oneness given to each individual. The prayer Jesus prayed was for Himself and is not selfish for it is to glorify The Father, for His disciples and for future believers in subsequent generations. He offered Himself for the sanctification of all believers. He, at this time was about to be presented to The Father, offered up to Him as a perfect sacrifice for their redemption as the firstborn of a new creation, so believers could enter in life more abundantly. Jesus prepared to re-enter The Holy of Holies in the presence of The Father.
This prayer was not for the world but for His own, in whom He would be glorified, by The Holy Spirit in whom would be the joy of Christ Himself. Jesus was confident that during His teaching His followers received His words, and that they believed He had been sent by The Father, and that He had kept His sincere disciples from apostasy. He prayed that all believers would know that The Father had sent Him, that The Father loved them as Christ had loved them. He did not pray for the world for the world does not know The Father, but that The Father would be known by The Church, and that the character of believers would have mutual joy, faith, hope, love, and prayer in their possession. Jesus prayed that The Church would continue to stand, restored by grace and grow together in holiness, reconciled to God.
Jesus addressed God The Father as being holy and righteous, while He prayed for unity in holiness and of nature that would then produce an outward unity and for His disciples to be of one spiritual character inwardly. He sought The Father's blessings upon those who were to be left in a world of sin, a world that would oppose and hate them. Christ did not pray that they be taken from the world but that The Father would keep and preserve them from the Evil One. As The Father had sent Him, The Son, into the world bearing The Truth of The Father's Word, Jesus Himself sent His disciples into the world, in the same manner and for the same mission. Jesus prayed for their perseverance as well as for maturity of their knowledge of God. Jesus dedicated Himself for all those who would believe because of His disciple's commission, in order that they all also may be one, through spiritual interaction with The Father and with The Son. Christ prayed for those whose names would be written in The Lamb's Book of Life.
Jesus is The Great High Priest of all those in God's Kingdom and is The Father's Son, who has been given authority over mankind and of all things. He has been given the authority to give eternal life to believers. In this High Priestly Prayer Jesus called Himself The Messiah, whom God had sent for the redemption of mankind and He desires that believers will be with Him, for a believer who dies, goes to be with Christ and behold His glory.
This prayer of The Great High Priest will be answered and complete when all believers are with Him in Heaven.
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