Prayer Establishes Our Reconciliation with God
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:11-16
Key Verse: Hebrews 13:12
And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
The Hebrew writer describes the shame and disgrace Jesus bore by carrying a criminal’s cross through the streets of Jerusalem. People would gather and stare at this common event of convicted people walking to their death—death by hanging on a cross. If Jesus lived in our society, we would speak of Him being on death row. The day of His execution, people would shout: “dead man walking.” Do you see any glory in this style of death? The people in Jesus’ day didn’t either.
The Hebrew writer does not stop at describing Jesus’ shame. In Hebrews 13:13 he goes on to say: “Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” Christ followers are challenged to truly follow Jesus—all the way and in every way. What will that mean for you today? It may mean you feel shame because someone, outside of faith, makes light of your faith. It doesn’t mean you are ashamed of your faith even though the world makes us feel that way at times. The world mocks and intimidates, wanting us to hide and feel embarrassed. Are you willing to bear this “disgrace?” What Jesus did was never a “disgrace” in the light of God’s truth. But the world spun it as a horrible failure. They still do that “spin!”
When you are praying and come to this portion of the Lord’s outline, “forgive my debts, as I forgive my debtors,” remember what that may mean. You may need to forgive someone today who will try to make you feel “silly and naive.” You may have to “bear disgrace” today as you are faithful to follow Jesus!
Father, if the people of this world disgrace me today, I’ll receive it with grace—Your grace! Fill my heart with love and compassion for them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.