Day 37: Loud Cries and Tears
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears…and He was heard because of His reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7).
Because of artistic renderings, we so often we picture Jesus as stoic—the strong, silent type. Nothing ruffled His feathers. Nothing surprised Him. He was above it all. But if He had wanted to stay above it all, He would have stayed in heaven. Part of His goal of being incarnated was to experience humanity to the fullest—the highs and lows—so that He would identify with us in all ways, and be that sympathetic and merciful High Priest. He was not stoic. He felt deeply.
He was no timid pray-er. He was in agony in the Garden, as He faced the bearing of the filth of our sins and the wrath of God for them, and He expressed that agony to His Father. He did so with humility and reverent submission. He demonstrated that our prayers can be fervent yet humble, bold yet surrendered, anguished yet full of faith. These are lessons we need!
Draper tells us, “It is a cry that is literally wrung out of a person…Jesus Christ was caught in the grip of agony more deeply intense than we could ever know…In the agony of His soul He cries out to God. It was no casual prayer that Jesus prayed.” This gives us pause in several ways. First is to realize what holy ground we are treading as we contemplate this experience our Lord endured. He had come, knowing, determined to die for our sins, yet when faced with the reality of all that entails He recoiled in the horror of it. It is a wonder to look upon this scene and realize that He bore it all for us. It is amazing that He was willing to bear it at all!! Yet, in reverent submission and love, He did.
Another wonder to behold here is the sobering reality of our sin. We think of it too lightly, but Jesus’ reaction to it should capture our attention. His abject horror at the thought of bearing it and the wrath should be stunning to us, should be a stark wake up call to recoil ourselves at the thought of sin. Those things we dismiss or excuse or indulge—they caused Him to sweat blood and to cry out that the cup might pass. We dare not take our sin lightly!
And, the last we will ponder today is His fervor in prayer. How tame are our prayers? How many of them are said with fervor, with tears, with loud cries? How many of them are wrung out of us? What do we care so much about that we are moved to pray with passion? What souls we long that much to be saved? What ministry do we desire so much to succeed that we plead with God for it to succeed? What sinful attitudes or deeds do we wish to be rid of?
• Ask yourself the questions in the paragraph above.
Lord, I repent of taking my sin so lightly, and for praying too timidly. Teach me to emulate Your submission and fervency as I cry out to the Father in prayer. Help me to hear Your heart when I pray, to sense the leading of Your Spirit as I intercede and as I plead Your promises. Thank You for fervently praying for me.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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