September 24th 2010

Jesus Prayed For You!

“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.”
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”
John 17:9 & 20 (NLT)

Did you notice that in this prayer Jesus prays for YOU, when he says, “but also for all who will ever believe in me”?! I love this scripture. It comes from Christ’s last recorded prayer shortly before his ultimate sacrifice—his death by crucifixion, which was the fulfilment of the famous scripture in John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

We are all familiar with the ‘whoever believes in him’, meaning people living then during Christ’s time as well as people living now and in the future, but what about those who died before Jesus came to earth? How can his sacrifice remove their sins when they didn’t know to believe on him? And what about those living now who have never heard of Jesus?

We can find comfort in the Scriptures and see in 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV) “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

He makes provision for those who lived before Jesus, and those in the present and future who never hear of Jesus—by the resurrection. Matthew 22:31-32 (KJV) records Jesus’ teaching, “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob are dead now, but will be living after the resurrection!) And in Romans 14:9 (NLT), “Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.” He is Lord also of those who have died, and in the resurrection they will come to know that his sacrifice has also removed their sins by the grace of God.

It is encouraging to know that Jesus prayed for us and a comfort to know that all people—past, present and future—will have opportunity through the resurrection to believe and have eternal life.

Prayer
Thank you, Father in Heaven, for your son and the gift of Eternal Life, available through him, to all people who ever have or will live.
Amen

Study by Nancy Silcox 

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