The Intercession of Christ
It is truly precious to
know Christ intercedes
for us today, but we
need to see why
In our previous Note we considered Christ as our Advocate in relation to our sins (1 John 2:1). In that regard He is not doing anything today, because He doesn’t need to. Instead, He advocates for us simply by being with the Father, as a testimony that He has already dealt with our sins on the cross. So, John does not say the Lord is praying in regard to our sins, but rather, that
…He Himself is the propitiation for our sins.
— 1 John 2:2; cf. John 19:30
(See our previous Note, “The Advocacy of Christ.” If you haven’t read that yet, you may want to do so before going on with this one.)
Still, the New Testament does tell us in two places that Christ is “interceding” on our behalf. This shows us that, in contrast to the forgiveness of sins, God’s work to bring us fully into the salvation He has for us is not yet complete. And the manner in which Christ is interceding for us shows us what that work is.
The main portion in the New Testament on the intercession of Christ is in the book of Hebrews. This book presents Christ to us as our great, heavenly High Priest, who calls us to “run the race” (12:2) so that we as the many sons of God may follow Him into glory (2:10).
It is in this context that Hebrews 7:25 tells us:
He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
While Christ does not need to pray for us in regard to our sins, we see here that He does need to pray for us to be “saved to the uttermost.” That work has not yet been completed, and in the context of Hebrews it means that Christ is praying for us today to follow Him into glory as the many sons of God.
The other portion of Scripture on the intercession of Christ, in Romans 8, speaks of virtually the same thing:
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
— Romans 8:34
Just as Hebrews tells us that God is bringing many sons to glory, so Romans 8 tells us, just before speaking of Christ interceding for us, that
…[Those] whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
— Romans 8:29
So here again we see that the intercession of Christ today relates to us being glorified as the many sons of God. On the whole Romans 8 shows us that this can only be through trials and sufferings (vv. 17-18, 35-39), so we surely do need Him to pray for us, as we pass through such a difficult process, that nothing would separate us from the love of God (v. 39).
Thank God for the advocacy of Christ! And thank Him also for the intercession of Christ! Yes, our sins have been fully dealt with, and yet there is still so much God needs to do within us, and that we need to pass through, on our way into His glory. It is indeed precious to know that, as we are on this way on the earth today, Christ in heaven, praying for us to go on to the end.
…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:1-2
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— 25 June 2022 —