Loving Lord, You are generous beyond measure. If I were to spend all day praising You, it would not be enough.
Read Hebrews 7:23-28
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Christ … affects the sinner’s entrance to the Father’s presence, the sinner’s acceptance by the Father, and the supply of the sinners needs out of his resources of grace and power” (J.G.S. Thomson).
How does Jesus intercede for us? If we are not clear about the meaning of the cross, we might imagine him offering some last-minute pleading to get us into heaven, but this passage identifies Jesus both as the high priest and as the sacrifice for our sins (27). His sacrifice was “once for all.” It is fully effective, so his continuing intercession cannot mean that he has to plead additionally for us when we stand before the Father. The cross has done all that is necessary. The very presence of the ascended Jesus with the Father is the guarantee of our acceptance as well. He has blazed the trail and we may follow in his footsteps. In this sense, it is his presence with the Father, not the content of his prayers, which is his intercession, because it demonstrates his finished work.
But there is a continuing intercession. Jesus, in his perfect humanity, is in the presence of the Father, praying for all of his brothers and sisters who are still on the journey (2:11). He is the “author and perfecter of our faith” (12:2). His purpose is not that we scrape into heaven, but that we are made holy, as he is. He wants to save us completely (25). He prays that we may not turn back and that we may become like him.
Jesus is supremely qualified for this double form of intercession. He lives forever (24) and his commitment to us will never end. Unlike us, he is holy, needing no atonement (26,27). He is in the presence of God (26). “Exalted above the heavens” (26) is a reference to God’s throne. There is no place of higher authority. And he has offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins “once for all” (27).
This reminder that Jesus is interceding for our growth in holiness should spur us to greater focus and devotion. How can you make it a greater passion in your life?
Jesus, I thank You that Your presence with the Father guarantees my acceptance. Strengthen me for my journey with You.
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