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“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.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

What prayers and supplications did Jesus offer up? Are they connected to being “saved from death,” or is that a coincidental/separate description of the Father that does not have bearing on what prayers Jesus was offering (I.e. that the cup would pass away)?

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There are many times when Jesus spent significant time in prayer as Heb 5:7 correctly records, such as:

  • Matt 14:23 - After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. See also Mark 6:46.
  • Matt 26:36 - Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” See also V39, 42, 44 and Mark 14:32, 35, 39, etc.
  • Mark 1:35 - In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
  • Luke 3:21 - In those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.
  • Luke 5:16 - But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
  • Luke 6:12 - In those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.
  • Luke 9:18 - And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?”
  • Luke 11:1 - It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
  • Luke 22:32 - but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
  • John 17 (the whole chapter) - Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. ...

Let there be no doubt that Jesus was The Man of great prayer!!

In particular we have Jesus earnest petition to be saved from the death of the cross as recorded in Matt 26

39 Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

40 Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

42 A second time He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” 43 And again Jesus returned and found them sleeping—for their eyes were heavy.

44 So He left them and went away once more and prayed a third time, saying the same thing.

The same incident is recorded in Mark 14:32-42. Luke 22 adds some important detail:

41 And He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, where He knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44 And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When Jesus rose from prayer and returned to the disciples, He found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” He asked. “Get up and pray so that you will not enter into temptation.”

This is the most earnest prayer ever uttered causing his sweated to become bloodied with psychological agony and anguish. Bengel observes (see https://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/22-44.htm ):

but His sweat became Hereby is set forth (exhibited) the intensity of His distress and agony.—ὁ ἱδρῶς, sweat Although it was cold at the time: John 18:18). That sweat was drawn out by the power received through the angel, by the agony of the struggle, by the intensity of His prayers, and His desire of drinking the cup.

The reason for Jesus' agonizing anguish was stated by the prophet Isaiah -

Isa 53:12 - because He has poured out His life unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors. Yet He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.

His holy and undefiled nature (Heb 7:26) recoiled at the task before Him, but He decided to drink that cup!

Heb 7:27 - ... He sacrificed for sin once for all when He offered up Himself.

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  • An edifying gathering of relevant texts. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 21:05
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This relates to Jesus praying to be saved from the oppressors who wanted him arrested / killed.

Hebrew 5:7 appears very clear – Jesus prayed to be saved from death and was heard.

All prophets before him prayed to God and Jesus was no different.
Jonah 2:7 (prayed and was alive) - 7 When my life was fainting away (not dead), I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

The passage can be contradictory to other passages in the bible that imply that Jesus gave himself (ie sacrificed / died) for the sins of all.

However, this appear to have been a line taken well after Jesus had been taken up by God and pursued by those in power hundreds of years later.

Examination of text

1) If Jesus came to die for our sins, why did he so often pray to be saved. God or son of God it makes no sense.

Luke 22:43 …'Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.' Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him."

Luke 22:44: "And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground."

Dottard above has listed a number of passages where Jesus prayed to God to be saved which I will not repeat

2) Jesus was heard & God confirmed that he will protect him

Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." (John 11:41-42).

Mark 11:24 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Psalm 20:6 6Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed

Psalms 34:20 & 22 - 20He protects all his bones; not one of them will be broken 22 - The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalms 9:13 “O you who lift me up from the gates of death”

Psalm 116:16 16 Truly I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.

Psalm 41:9-13 9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. 10 But may you have mercy on me, LORD; raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. 13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

PSALM 91:10-16 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.” There is nothing in the OT that states Jesus would die or be sacrificed. 3) Would God sacrifice Jesus (ie God the son / son of God) Based on the evidence very unlikely.

Matthew 9:13 13 But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Hosea 6:6 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Deuteronomy 12:31 31 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

Deuteronomy 18:10 - 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,

2 Kings 21:6 6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger.

Ezekiel 18:20 “The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

Deuteronomy 24:16 - 16 Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.

See below links for more details;

Is Jesus (lamb) accepted for redemption of sin - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/75324/33268

Do we inherit sin - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/62982/33268

  1. Isaiah 53 –

Some imply that Isa 53 relates to Jesus this is a weak argument if you believe that Jesus died, for the following reasons.

53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: ……[not died]

53:9 He was given a grave among the wicked, a burial place with evildoers, ….. [ Jesus was not in a grave but a tomb & was by himself]

53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

*** [grief (not death), Jesus has no guilt, Jesus life was not prolonged 33years & he did not see his offspring]***

Conclusion Based on the above its clear that Jesus prayed earnestly to be saved and was heard and indeed it was prophecies that he would be saved / protected. There are clearly passages that imply that Jesus died for our sins mainly from Paul, but this doctrine came after Jesus and taken on board by those in power hundreds of years later who decided what should be in the bible and destroyed anything that did not conform to their opinion.

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