Jesus Intercedes

February 23, 2023

A few months ago, a viral video from a doorbell camera showed a high school student barging into the unlocked front door of a friend's house. Why didn't he knock or ring the doorbell? Because he was fleeing a bully who was close on his heels.

However, rather than hear screams from inside the house as the bully chased him indoors, the doorbell camera showed the bully suddenly backing away from the front door while two adult males shouted threatening obscenities. Turns out, one of the adults was the older brother of the friend, knew the teenager who barged into the house unannounced, and when the bully rushed in milliseconds after, immediately recognized what was going on and stepped in to protect the kid.

Unfortunately, I can't post a link to the video due to the language used by the two adults who chased the bully out of the house, but their actions saved the teenager from being injured by the fists and feet of an angry young man looking to exert physical power over a fellow human.

Jesus, our Older Brother

Most people wouldn't use this word, but the friend's older brother interceded on behalf of the fleeing teen. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines intercede as "[to] intervene on behalf of another."

This is exactly what Jesus is doing for His followers right now.

When Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" from the cross, He had in mind the work of paying off the ransom for sin. However, Jesus did not cease from all work in that moment. Jesus not only intervened on our behalf by going to the cross in our place, He continues to intervene, praying for us as we continue to live life in this sin-stained world.

The author of the book of Hebrews shows us this continuing work of Jesus...

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 [ESV]
Jesus Intercedes • Riverwood Church

I love that idea in the first phrase: "he is able to save to the uttermost." Jesus completely saves you, cleansing you from all unrighteousness, not just through His work on the cross, but also through intercession (prayer) before the Father on your behalf. (See also Romans 8:34.)

If you were to never sin again the moment after putting your faith in Jesus' work through the cross and empty tomb, there would be no need for Him to continually intercede on your behalf. But since Jesus knows we will still struggle with sin even while seeking to follow Him, He actively reminds the Father that the power of His crucifixion covers even these sins.

This is why Joseph Scriven declared in 1855 through his famous hymn,

Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer!

Joseph Medlicott Scriven, portion of Stanza 2 from What a Friend We Have in Jesus, 1855. Public Domain.

If you feel like the bully of sin is chasing you down, rush into your Father's house and let your "older brother" Jesus protect you, saving you to the uttermost through His intercession.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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