Christ’s Intercessory Ministry
“Where is Jesus?” Sounds like a question a child might ask. But I’m thinking there may be others who are asking this question in view of the challenges we’ve all faced in recent years. There’s a good theological answer, which we intend to deal with first, and another related truth we will consider which should be of great encouragement to you.
In today’s Scripture reading, we read of how Jesus ascended into heaven as the disciples looked on. Jesus had foretold of this event (John 14:2,12; 16:5,10, 17, 28; 17:5; 20:17). The Apostle Paul wrote of it and affirmed Christ’s Lordship over all (Ephesians 1:20, 4:8-10; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Timothy 3:16). Likewise the writer of Hebrews spoke of this truth in light of the encouragement we find in it (Hebrews 1:3; 4:14-16; 7:25-26; 9:24). The fact Jesus has been enthroned as ruler over all is a encouragement to every believer, especially in view of the difficulties we are all facing in these troubled times.
So the theological answer to the question of “Where is Jesus?” is He has ascended to heaven, and from there He reigns over all. But we are also told He is, from heaven, interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). This, my friends, is an amazing truth. To intercede is to plead with a person on someone’s behalf. It is sometimes used in Scripture to speak of the prayers of men. It would be fair to say “Jesus is praying for me.” Did you know that? You have others, no doubt, praying for you. You are encouraged by this truth–that they’ve lovingly taken your prayer concerns and needs to the throne of grace so you will be helped by God. But is it not an incredible thing to know Jesus Himself is praying for you?! Robert Murray McCheyne, a pioneer missionary to America, once testified, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!” We should also note that it’s not just Jesus who is praying for you, the Holy Spirit is too (Romans 8:27)!
To be sure the exact manner of communication between the glorified and omniscient persons of the trinity is beyond our comprehension, yet that does not diminish the wonder of it all. The context of the Romans 8:34 reference is the security of the believer. In this portion of Scripture we read of the opposition and threats we face: accusations; condemnations; tribulation, distress, persecution, etc. To be sure, the journey of the believer, from new birth to glory, is an arduous one filled with obstacles and challenges. It is in this context we are reminded “Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:34)! The One who died for your sins and rose from the dead, is seated at the right hand of God and is praying for You!
You have others who pray for you, praise God, but none so qualified as our Savior! Human prayers are limited in both extent and power, but the One who created all things and rose from the dead is without limits. Humans grow weary in their prayers, but not so the omnipotent Christ. Perhaps you have been oblivious to His intercessory work, but He’s never stopped praying for you. From how many spiritual pitfalls have you rescued? How many times were you led away from danger? How much strength has been imparted to you? How many times was a needed truth mysteriously brought to your mind? The passage in Hebrews speaks to His intercessory work in relation to His saving work: “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). A “salvation to the uttermost” is assured because Jesus is a Great High Priest who “always lives to make intercession for them.” He prays us along on our path to glory! Be encouraged–He will complete the work He started in you. Nothing can separate you from His love!
Lord Jesus, we’ve been prayed for by human hands, but how incredible it is to know we are being prayed for by the One whose hands bear the scars of His loving sacrifice! That You are even now, at the right hand of God intercede for us, is a precious truth indeed! Forgive us that we too often take such things for granted. Help us to remember in our journey that You, the One who has gone before us, are always pleading our case before the Father! Amen!
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest, whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me