Scripture Reading: John 17
Few things reveal more than a person’s final will and testament. It speaks volumes. For us, few things are as illuminating as what Jesus prayed the night before his death.
John 17 is an undeserved gift. It’s a glimpse into an intimate conversation between Son and Father, which is why it’s so astounding to find ourselves in verse 24, right smack dab in the middle of this prayer! The “they also” that Jesus references includes us! So we too have a vital interest to discover in these words.
Consider who it is that Jesus depends upon to act for our final good. In these final hours, he considers the Father so trustworthy, that he’s willing to fully commit our future into his hands. Remember, this is the same Father who will pour out white-hot wrath on his Son for OUR sin.
By God’s eternal plan, Jesus knows the Father intends to be merciful toward us as a result of this substitution. Jesus recognizes that the Father is not going to hold anything, not a single thing, against those who look to Christ. His prayer for us is proof of that. There’s a perspective that needs to shape our souls. If you have believed the Gospel message and depend on Jesus for salvation, but are still tempted to think that deep down the Father holds sins against you, this prayer answers that. It is powerful to remember who it was in the end that Jesus considered most worthy of entrusting with our eternity!
Look at what he asks the Father to do for us. It’s a stunning picture of Jesus’ love. He couldn’t ask for anything greater than for us to be with him. Nothing can eclipse the glory that Christ has eternally possessed. Because of that, he asks for the most supreme blessing possible, either in this life or in the one to come, to also be poured out on future believers. His love for us compels him to pray for nothing less. He prays for us to see his glory.
Now, it doesn’t always feel like that’s our best possible blessing, especially when we face suffering and pain. Yet this is the most loving inheritance we could ever receive. Certainly, we receive many, many other blessings from God, and we are commanded to bring all our needs to him because he genuinely cares for them. That said, even when it feels like having other things would be better, there is nothing that we need more and nothing that will turn out more amazing than to finally be with Jesus.
We struggle to believe this. Jesus resolutely knew this to be the case. So, he prayed over us. Living in a fallen world, we may sometimes wonder if Jesus has our absolute best interests at heart. As those thoughts come, let this prayer be a resounding “YES!” in your soul. Our ultimate good was his heart’s desire in this defining moment before he went to the cross, and we too can depend on the Father to grant it.
So, as we turn our attention towards Good Friday, John 17 provides a backdrop to Jesus’ suffering. He died so we could be with him forever. Yes, these final wishes of our Savior still speak volumes to our souls today!
During Holy Week, your pastoral team will share a daily devotion from Palm Sunday until Resurrection Sunday. Christ is risen!