under a special agreement with
presents "New Life in Christ" Course 2
under a special agreement with
"…He ever lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
We can look back to the time when the Lord Jesus died on the cross as our Saviour. We can look forward to the time when He will return to this earth to rule and reign as our coming King. In this lesson we are going to consider the present ministry of the Lord Jesus as our Intercessor.
Jesus Is Our Intercessor
What is the Lord Jesus doing now? He is praying for us. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our great Intercessor. An intercessor is one who prays for another. And that is just what the Lord Jesus is doing now. He is in Heaven praying for all those who believe on Him.
There were many great men in the Bible who prayed for others. They interceded with God for their people. Sometimes they asked God to forgive the sins of their people, and sometimes they asked God to deliver their people from their enemies. These men were intercessors because they prayed to God for others.
We need an intercessor too. Why? Because we have a great enemy, Satan, who hates every child of God.
Though Satan cannot take us out of God's family, he does all he can to cause us to sin. He tries to keep us from living a life that is pleasing to God. But we do not need to be afraid because the Lord Jesus is our great Intercessor. He is praying for us each day. The Bible says,
"Christ is…entered…into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Hebrews 9:24
The great men of the Bible who prayed for their people eventually died. Death ended their prayers. The Lord Jesus also died, but He rose again! He is alive today, and He is praying continually for those who belong to Him. The Bible says,
"…He ever lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25
The Lord Jesus is the Perfect Intercessor
When the Lord Jesus was here on earth, He prayed often for His disciples. He loved them, and He prayed that they might be kept from evil.
The Lord Jesus is in Heaven now, and He continues to pray for those who belong to Him. He is the perfect Intercessor for us.
There are three reasons why Jesus is the perfect Intercessor for us:
1. He is God's beloved Son.
2. He understands us perfectly.
3. He paid the penalty of our sins.
Let us think about these three things.
Jesus is God's beloved Son.
There is nothing that God the Father will not do for His beloved Son. The Bible says,
"The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand." (John 3:35)
Jesus told His disciples to pray to the Father in His name. He said,
"…Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you." (John 16:23)
Jesus understands us perfectly.
Do you know why the Lord Jesus understands us perfectly? Because He Himself lived here as a man. The Bible says that it was necessary for Jesus to be like us so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest (Intercessor) before God.
The Lord Jesus knows what it is to be poor and to be hungry. He knows what it is to be rejected and misunderstood. He knows what it is to be tempted and to suffer persecution. There is nothing that can happen to us that He does not understand. The Bible says that He
"was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
Because Jesus Himself has been through suffering and temptation, He knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted. He is the perfect Intercessor for us because He understands us perfectly.
Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.
The Lord Jesus has the right to be our Intercessor because He paid the penalty of our sins. The nail prints in His hands and feet and the print of the spear in His side are reminders of the fact that He died on the cross for our sins.
When we sin, Jesus can point to the nail prints in His hands and say, "Father, I know that this one has sinned, but I paid for his sins. I purchased him with My own blood. He belongs to Me." God can forgive us because Jesus paid the penalty of our sins.
What Does Jesus Do As Our Intercessor?
We have seen that the Lord Jesus is the perfect Intercessor for us. Now let us think about three ways in which the Lord Jesus intercedes for us.
1. He prays for us when we are tempted.
2. He intercedes for us when we have sinned.
3. He presents our prayers to the Father.
Let us consider these things.
Christ prays for us when we are tempted.
The Lord Jesus prays especially that we will not yield to sin when we are tempted by Satan. He prayed to the Father,
"I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil [from the evil one, Satan]." John 17:15
As long as we are in this world, we will be tempted. But the Lord Jesus is praying for us, and the Father has promised that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our power to resist. He will always make a way of escape for us. The Bible says,
"…God is faithful, Who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
Does this mean that we cannot sin? No, not at all. We can sin, but we do not have to sin. We can say "No!" to temptation.
Christ intercedes for us when we have sinned.
When we received Christ as our Saviour, we were born into the family of God. We have a new relationship with God. He is our Heavenly Father, and we are His child.
Can anything break this relationship? No, our relationship to God as His child can never be broken. But there is another matter which is very important for us as God's children, and that is our fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
What does it mean to have "fellowship" with others? It means that we enjoy being with them. We love them, and we know that they love us. We like to talk with them and to share our joys and our trials with them.
God loves us and He wants us to have fellowship with Him. He wants us to enjoy being with Him. He wants us to tell Him about our joys and our trials. God wants us to love Him and to know that He loves us. When we are obedient to Him, we enjoy wonderful fellowship with Him.
Can this fellowship with God be broken? Yes, it can. What breaks it? SIN! When we sin, our fellowship with the Father is broken. Our relationship with Him as His child is not broken, but sin breaks our fellowship with Him.
Can our fellowship with the Father be restored? Yes, it can. Who restores it? The Lord Jesus! He intercedes for us when we sin. The Bible says,
"If any man sin, we have an Advocate [an Intercessor] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1
The Lord Jesus pleads for us when we have sinned. He asks the Father to forgive us for His sake. It is because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us that God forgives us of our sins. The Bible says,
"…your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake." 1 John 2:12
God not only forgives us, but He cleanses us with the precious blood of Christ that we may again have fellowship with Him.
When is our fellowship with God restored? Our fellowship is restored the moment we confess our sins to the Father. The Bible says,
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Does this mean that we can decide to sin every day and then confess it to God and think that everything will be all right? No! No! No! If we are thinking this way, we should examine ourselves to see if we are really in God's family. A true child of God will want to please his Heavenly Father, and he will hate the things that God hates.
Christ presents our prayers to the Father.
We have seen how the Lord Jesus prays for us when we are tempted and how He restores our fellowship with the Father when we have sinned. But there is yet another wonderful thing that the Lord Jesus does for us: He presents our prayers to the Father.
Many people think that anyone can pray to God and that God will hear and answer their prayers, but this is not true. Only those who have received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour can pray to God as Father. And we must pray in Jesus' name if we want God to hear and answer our prayers. The Lord Jesus said,
"Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you." John 16:23
When we pray the Lord Jesus is our great Intercessor. He presents our prayers to the Father. He asks the Father to grant our requests for His sake. It is because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us that God hears and answers our prayers.
Through Christ We Can Come Boldly to God
In this lesson we have learned that the Lord Jesus is the perfect Intercessor for us. He prays for us daily. He does not turn us away when we need help, but He offers His strength. He does not condemn us when we fail, but He is patient and merciful with us. When we have sinned, He intercedes for us with the Father so that our fellowship with the Father may be restored.
Are you troubled with temptations that you cannot seem to overcome? Then come to the Father through the Lord Jesus and ask Him to give you victory over them.
Have you sinned? Are you out of fellowship with the Father? Have you lost your joy as a Christian? Then come to the Father through your great Intercessor, the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins to God and ask Him to forgive you. The Lord Jesus will restore your fellowship with the Father.
Do you have a great need? Are you troubled about some problem in your life or in the lives of your loved ones? Then pray to the Father in Jesus' name. The Lord Jesus is God's beloved Son, and He will present your prayers to the Father. The Bible says,
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest [a great Intercessor], that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God…Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:14, 16
Alone with God
The secret of a strong Christian life is the daily "Quiet Time." This is a time spent alone with God in the study of His Word and in prayer. Here are some suggestions that will help you to form the habit of a daily Quiet Time.
1. Time and Place
Choose a time that is good for you. Early morning is the best time for most people.
Choose a place where you can be alone. This might mean getting up in the morning before everyone else in the family.
After you choose a time and place, stick to them.
2. The Bible
Use a Bible that has a good print and is easy to read. Have a plan for reading. Read the Gospel of John first. After you have finished John, begin with the Gospel of Matthew and read right through the whole New Testament.
As you open your Bible to read, first close your eyes and talk to God. Confess your sins; ask Him to speak to your heart through His Word as you read it. Remember that you are in His presence.
After reading and listening for God to speak to your heart through His Word, take time to pray. Thank Him for His Word to you; thank Him for His blessings—name them, one by one; thank Him for the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sins; thank Him for answering your prayers; thank Him most of all for the Lord Jesus, your Saviour.
Do you want to ask for something? Tell Him the desires of your heart. He listens to every request.
Remember to pray for your family and friends. It is good to make a list of those for whom you are praying.
Do you really want to know God? Then you must spend time alone with Him.