"These words spake Jesus " JOH 17:1.
The four gospels tell of many instances in which the Lord Jesus Christ prayed, but as His hour to depart drew near His prayer was greatly intensified as He went into spiritual travail. He likened such Spiritual travail to that childbirth in the illustration He gave in JOH 16:21.
There He said, "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world."
As our Saviour came to the time of His departure from this world, He was in the soul travail that was prophesied in ISA 53:11. Gods Word says, "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many [This prophesy also tell what was the source of this travail]; for he shall bear their iniquities."
Our Saviours intercessory prayer is a monument of His affection for His bride, whose iniquities He came to bear! He " gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, TIT 2:14.
Notice that our Lord was not primarily praying for Himself as He approached that dread hour, but His affection for those He came to redeem reveals itself. Our Saviour pleaded, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine," JOH 17:9.
This intercessory prayer mentions all blessings and privileges necessary for the unity and oneness of the church. Our Lord prayed for the oneness between the Father, Himself, the apostles, and all believers. In JOH 17:22 He prayed, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one."
The words we have chosen to consider, "These words spake Jesus." "These words" are the preface to our Saviours intercessory prayer. Our text says, "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven."
These words constituted the benediction of His farewell sermon! He said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world," JOH 16:33.
It is so precious to see how our Saviour intercedes before the courts of heaven for this blessed peace which He has promised to His own. He speaks these same blessed words unto us in His Word today, as He pleads for us in the courts of heaven as our Intercessor, " seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them," HEB 7:25. Without Christs intercession, our prayers would be nothing but mere vain repetition of words.
Joseph told his brethren they would not see his face unless his brother Benjamin was with it. Stop and think what a blessing it is that we can come to seek the Fathers face on the basis that His own beloved Son is not only with, but also in usand we in Him!
COL 1:27-28 says, "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Christs intercession is the golden conduit through which our prayers ascend unto the throne of grace, and through which the Divine influences of grace are conveyed unto us.
1CO 8:6 says, "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." Amen.