There are several issues to consider when answering this question.
- there is misunderstanding of what death Heb 5:7 is talking about.
- there is a denial of what Heb 5:7 is teaching.
- resulting in trepidation of what it may reveal about Jesus, the son of God.
The answer reveals a lot about who Jesus is and what challenges he faced.
- This death is NOT about the death at Gethsemane
- Clearly, the prayers he prayed were answered. "He was heard b/c of his reverent submission. Or ' deep reverence', because of His godly fear, because of His piety.
- there is no sense that his prayers were dismissed and his requests rejected.
- Jesus did die on the cross, but this is not about the cross.
"In the days of His flesh" amounts to his entire life - at the very least from the receipt of the Holy Spirit at his baptism.
Jesus knew what temptation he would face - not just after the 40 days and nights in the wilderness, but at every moment until the cross took his last breath. Even while hanging on the cross he could have summoned angels to remove him prior to death. This would have accomplished two things;
He would have put his will before the Father and sought an alternative ending to that already prophesied.
He could no longer be the Lamb. Putting his will first would be sin. So whenever he died, he could no longer be raised. Just like us - he too would need a Saviour!
Jesus could NOT be the Lamb on his own. His every move, every word and action, every desire and thought had to be aligned with the Father, as Jesus had his own will, this was not a forgone conclusion. He needed the Holy Spirit to assist, to guide, to empower against self, against pride. He needed his Father above all.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me. John 6:38
How did he summon the Father's assistance? Through prayer as we all do. Did he have a spiritual connection with God? Yes, through the spirit in him and because he was without sin, holy and very close to the Father. He had the fullness of God dwelling IN HIM. He and the Father were one - just as he prayed we would be also. John 10:30, 17:21
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form Col 2:9
The death Jesus prayed to be saved from is the death he would have suffered IF he sinned. If he allowed pride to put his will first, it would be counted as sin. His walk to the cross was a test of every part of his body, mind and soul. He needed the Father at every step - especially as the time drew closer to the garden, the trial and the horrific suffering he knew was imminent.
He could not do this alone. There was never any process in place for him to be the Lamb on his own. He is the second Adam. The first Adam put his will ahead of God's - fail. Jesus could not afford to do this while battling the wicked Satan at every turn.
Like us, Jesus was not fighting flesh but the spirit world.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12
Jesus is our forerunner, our first-fruit of the new creation - of all creation. He being the first one to pass from death to immortality. Rom 6:9
...where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us... Heb 6:20
He was saved from a death caused by pride - the pride that had the potential to be found in him IF he put his will first just once. God saved him from this calamity by providing the spiritual help to fight off thoughts of pride and self. Just as He can do for us at our earnest and faithful request.
he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save him from death.
Notice the 'could', or others say, 'was able to'. The salvation of sorts, depended on Jesus' earnest request and submission through prayer, not on God's ability. God certainly could save him, but only according to Jesus' beseeching His provision - which were forthcoming.
Jesus was made like us in every respect Heb 2:17.
he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God.
He was no hybrid super-human. He was a man like us, except being without sin. He was empty of the privileges that were rightly his as the holy son of God. But by no means were the powers of God innately within him - there were none. He only had what the Father provided - and that was enough, even though he often clearly felt it wasn't.
the next verse of Heb 5:8-9 tells us more
Although He was a Son, he learned obedience from the things which he suffered. And having been perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him...
He had to suffer to learn, he had to learn to become obedient - to the death on a cross of a perfectly innocent man!
This test of wills was essential for becoming the Lamb. For we are found in him, in HIS obedience, in HIS submission, in HIS love for the Father above everything else. In this perfect death he died for all, our wills too will be brought into line with God's - as Jesus' was. Certainly not by our strenuous efforts of fake holiness or by keeping a law. We are saved in him and in no other name because he did what no man could ever do - obey God perfectly against all evil.
God is used to getting His own holy and righteous way.
My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it. Is 55:11
But now, in Jesus, God's word, His logos, is a man with his own will!
God is not about forcing Jesus to do what is necessary - it must be done through Jesus' obedience - wilful, loving, humble, worshipful obedience. Which he had to learn!
Jesus defeated evil on the cross. Not just because he was without sin being a perfect sacrifice. But by how he got to the cross - totally dependant on God who helped him get there intact, without sin.
Finally, all creation is now redeemed by Jesus' humble submission to his God, and by God's grace alone, we too may join Jesus at God's side forever!
May we pray to our God, "Thy will be done", as Jesus always did and encouraged us to also.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Matt 6:10
In Jesus, God's will WAS done on earth - as it is in heaven.