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Luke 22:32

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Luke 22:32, ‘But I have *prayed* for you, that your faith may not fail…’

The word translated ‘prayed’ here might literally be taken to mean ‘bound.’ On top of that, it is passive, essentially telling us that Jesus *was bound* on behalf of Peter.

Now, the central meaning here is that Jesus was bound by conviction, by burden of soul, by a the weight of His soul’s longing to see Peter preserved—and that is beautiful enough in and of itself. But, I think we can say more.Indeed, Jesus was *literally* bound for Peter. Were not the bonds which would be laid upon Jesus in just a few hours were for Peter? And, in this sense, is Jesus not bound for us all? And is not His bondage our freedom? Is He not bound by iron spikes to the wood of the cross so that our faith might not fail? So that we might endure with him and enter the Kingdom, so that we might be preserved?

‘Satan demanded to have you, but I was bound for you, that your faith may not fail. I was stripped, I was scourged, I was mocked, I was transfixed to the cross, I was pierced by the spear, I was crushed under wrath, I was bound in the linen strips of death for you so that your faith may not fail; so that you might endure; so that you might turn again and strengthen your brothers.’ Yes, that, too, is true. Hallowed be His Name.

So, in this image, Jesus stands—bound and scourged—facing away from our sight. The man depicted in dark colors at the center of the image represents Peter, but also every one of us in the midst of our crumbling faith. The atoning, love-spilled blood of the Bound Lord pours down over Peter (and us) and—in the light of the resurrection which shines down from the opening tomb to illumine the entire scene—that blood becomes the means of sustaining Peter (and us) in his collapse. In this image, the resurrection-illumined blood of Christ—spilled as He was bound for His own—symbolizes His sustaining prayer 1) because His sacrifice in the eternal Spirit is itself His unceasing intercession before the Father on our behalf, and 2) because His love-spilled blood is a sort of ‘material prayer’…the blood that speaks a better word than that of Abel (Heb.12:24).