Imagine sitting in your room and desperate. Your faith is being put to the test right now. You have fallen into sin again and you are wondering how you will ever overcome this sin. Or you suffer from a disease that wants to take your courage. Or it’s other things that shake your faith that discourages you. You feel alone and somehow helpless …
But what difference would it make if you knew that Jesus is kneeling in the next room and praying for you and your faith to his Father? That would change everything, or not? …
Scottish pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said it succinctly: “If I could hear as Christ pray for me in the next room, I would not fear myself from a million enemies. But the distance does not really matter. Christ prays for me.”
You’ve probably heard of Jesus advocating us. But how much are you encouraged by this truth? Is not it that we completely overlook this task of Jesus. We believe that he lived, that he died for us, that he rose again and went to the Father. But we do not think much about Christ being the advocate for us now.
Mark Jones says in his book “Knowing Christ” that we must not ignore the intercession office of Jesus.
And because I myself was encouraged by this wonderful truth, I would like to share some thoughts with you.
The priesthood of Jesus.
The eternal intercessory office of Jesus is inextricably linked to his role as the better high priest, as the writer of Hebrews calls him. In the Old Testament, it was the high priest who stood up for his people. On his chest plate all twelve tribes of Israel were named. Jesus is the better high priest, of whom it is said:
But this man, because he is eternal, has an everlasting priesthood. Therefore he can also save forever those who come to God through him; because he lives forever and asks for her. For we also had to have such a high priest, who is holy, innocent, undefiled, divorced from the sinners, and higher than heaven. Heb 7: 24-26
For Christ did not enter into the sanctuary, which is done with hands and is but an image of the true sanctuary, but into heaven itself, to appear for us now before the face of God. Heb 9:24
These two passages are only examples of some other passages from which we can see that Jesus is praying for us. But what encouraging aspects of this idea involves, I would like to briefly unfold in the following points.
1. Jesus can sympathize with you.
The Hebrew letter writer mentions this idea in chapter 2: 17-18.
Therefore, in all things he had to become like his brethren, that he might be merciful, and a faithful high priest before God, to atone for the sins of the people. For what he himself suffered and was tempted, he can help those who are tempted.
For Jesus may be compassionate and merciful to us, he had to become one of us. Jesus lived here on earth as a human to understand what it means to be part of the fallen creation, with all that goes with it. Jesus was tried. Jesus mourned, he suffered and he was lonely and he went through many other things that make our lives so difficult.
He has gone through everything we are going through and he understands us and can help us.
2. Jesus knows your challenges
When Jesus was sitting with his disciples on the last evening, Jesus already knew about the challenge that Peter faced a few hours later when he denied Jesus. Jesus knew what Peter was about to do and Jesus had already prayed for him.
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to shake you like the wheat in the sieve. But I prayed for you not to lose your faith.
Is not that an interesting thought. Translated to us this means: Jesus now knows what lies ahead of you in the future challenges and temptations, and he has already prayed in advance that you will be preserved in all this.
3. Jesus is there for you when you fall into sin
The apostle John writes in his first letter, the reality of sin in a Christian’s life. He says: The ongoing life in sin is a contradiction for anyone who calls himself a follower of Jesus. He also acknowledges that we sin as Christians. And his only way out of this dilemma is this:
And if somebody commits a sin, we have a lawyer who speaks for us with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2: 1
We all fail. But we always have to know one thing. The prosecutor wants to sue us, but Jesus is here and stands up for us. Is there a more encouraging idea in the fight against sin?
4. Jesus does not stop praying for you.
If I look at my faithfulness in prayer for others, then I stand there ashamed. But in Jesus we have a savior who lives forever and whose only job now is to stand up for us. So we read in Hebrews 7:25, as mentioned above.
He who lives forever will never stop advocating for them.
If you are unfaithful, then Jesus will remain faithful. If you forget Jesus, he will not forget you. Are you desperate, despondent and hopeless? Jesus does not stop praying for you.
5. Jesus is looking forward to seeing you.
Actually, it is hard for me to imagine this. But this is how it is: Jesus, in his prayer in John 17, expressed a very special desire to his father.
Father, I want the ones you gave me to be where I am. They shall be with me, that they may see my glory – the glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Jn 17,24
Already in John 14 Jesus said that he is going to prepare for his disciples, including you and me, a place. He wants you with him because you are valuable to him. And because you are precious to him, he looks forward to seeing you.
The doctrine of the Intercessory Office of Jesus is paid far too little attention. That Jesus prays for us is one of the most delicious and courageous truths of all. Take a moment and ask Jesus to show you what that means to you. I personally would like to draw a lot of courage and confidence from this fact.