In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
– Hebrews 5:7-9 NASB
Although “Hebrews” sounds like it might be the name of an Old Testament book, it is actually found in the New Testament. And although modern translations seldom attribute it to the apostle Paul, the King James Version as well as ancient Greek versions consider it the fourteenth of Paul’s New Testament letters – Paul being the most prolific of the New Testament writers.
“In the days of His flesh” is, of course, a reference to Jesus’ earthly life. Paul describes the fervor with which Jesus prayed – and how His passion combined with His piety brought about the answer He sought. Of course, people witnessing Jesus’ last breath on the cross would have assumed that His prayers for deliverance (another word for salvation) from death were denied. Yet Jesus’ resurrection from the dead three days later would demonstrate that those prayers were actually answered…and in the most emphatic way possible.
You see, Jesus wasn’t praying to be delivered from dying. That would only have postponed His death. Rather He was praying for a deliverance from death that would include the entire human race. Thus Jesus’ resurrection from the dead would mean that He would never die again, nor would we be held down by death either. As the forerunner, Jesus transformed death from a dead-end to a doorway. When we die, we simply transition to heaven. This is why Paul could say in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Having been brought to completion in His mission (“having been made perfect”), Jesus became the source of constant (“eternal”) salvation for us. Note that this process of being saved is for all those who “obey Him.” Jesus is not some sort of keychain amulet or dashboard figurine. He is a living Lord, commanding us to follow in His righteous steps.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, allow me to partake of Your saving grace today. Show me how to conform my motives more closely to Yours. Show me how my otherwise mundane life can be precious to You…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.