From the archives for Good Friday:
"I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message."
What will your legacy be?
Maybe a great financial estate, property, antiques, loving words penned by your own hand, or simply a life lived well and happy family memories?
Jesus had no estate, no wife, or children or hefty bank accounts. But his life lived in God's perfect will and his words penned by those closest to him. These recorded words, including his last prayer, are the most precious legacy anyone could ask for. For through these words, God's free gift of eternal life extends to all generations.
The second part of Jesus' Gethsemane prayer he prays for his disciples: "My prayer is not that you (God) take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Looking ahead, Jesus knew the disciples' lives would need God's protection as they faced persecution on a religious, political and even global extent. And he prayed that God would speak His truth in them through His word, sanctifying them, setting them apart as a holy people. For through these disciples, we today share God's saving grace and the hope of eternal life.
Finally, Jesus prays for us. This absolutely blows my mind until I realize that Jesus is the Word which spoke creation into existence. Then it all makes sense, for he does not think on a finite scale but an infinite one. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last and so he thinks in terms of eternity. He knows at that moment in Gethsemane, that what he is about to face has global and eternal significance and therefore, reaches beyond his present relationships.
"My prayers are not for them (disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:20-21).
Jesus prays that we may be unified believers amongst ourselves and united as one with the Trinity so that the world...THE WORLD...may believe Jesus as savior and in turn receive the gift of eternal life.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3).
This is Jesus' legacy for his children (those who know God and believe in Jesus whom he sent to earth on our behalf) - these words that call for us not only to spread his message, his story, offer his gift of eternal life through Christ, but to do so in the unity of the Gospel. For no matter how we worship, when we worship, or where we worship-if we believe in the only true God and his Son, Jesus Christ, then we share the same family line. And our inheritance is eternity in God's kingdom, as sons and daughters, heir to his throne.
Jesus, I cannot comprehend all your thoughts, your agony as you prayed that night in Gethsemane. My heart cannot express how grateful, how humbled it is to know that you set aside your own purposes, your own pain for the sake of those you did not yet know, who had yet to be born. May those of us who do know you today not accept the cost of our inheritance into God's kingdom lightly, but seek for unity in the faith that the world may know the only true God and you, dearest Jesus, whom He sent. Amen.