Pastor John E. Russell
Senior Pastor
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Hebrews 5:7-9: "During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him."

What does it mean that Jesus had to learn obedience? Had he been disobedient and now had to learn to obey His Father? Not at all.

The truth is that Jesus always obeyed His Father. He was without sin. He was perfect. However, as our High Priest, He had to experience being obedient and learn obedience first hand in the midst of great suffering. Jesus was tested and tried in the fire and came out perfect.

Notice in verse 7, Jesus offered up "prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears" to his Father. Why? So that He could endure the pain and suffering He was destined to go through and still be obedient. No one had ever, or would ever, have to endure the agony of bearing the sins of all humanity, the punishment for those sins, and the separation from His Father because of those sins. Only Jesus could do this. His obedience was proved when He said, "It is Finished." He had perfectly obeyed the will of the Father, even unto death, and we are now the beneficiaries of His obedience.

Finally, in verse 9, we see this salvation is for all of us who obey Him. Jesus left us with a perfect example of obedience. He didn't come here to playact a role. Jesus' suffering was real, more real than ours could ever be. His flesh was the same as yours or mine and yet He showed us it can be done.

What can we learn from this? God has given us His Holy Spirit, the same source of strength that Jesus relied upon, to enable us to be obedient and to accomplish His will. Obeying God's Word is not impossible, though we may struggle and we may suffer. We have been given the ability to be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who loves us. We may have to offer up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who can save us, but save us He will. We just have to remember this one thing: Philippians 4:13 - "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Pastor John

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