Before the Throne of God
“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)
The apostle Paul declares that there is no condemnation leveled against those who are in Christ Jesus that can stick because of our Savior’s death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession (Rom. 8:34). The prayers and sacrifice of our great High Priest on our behalf are meant to encourage us and fill us with great comfort and joy.
“It is generally acknowledged that sinners could not be saved without the death of Christ; but that believers could not be saved without the life of Christ following it, is not so much considered.” So wrote John Owen referring not simply to the resurrection of Christ Jesus but to his ascension and intercession. Have you considered the importance and encouragement that Jesus lives to intercede for you? In his book Knowing Christ, Mark Jones explains the beauty and glory of this wonderful doctrine.
“Since Christ ‘always lives,’ he always intercedes. There is no Christian alive who has not had Christ mention his or her name to the Father. Indeed, if you are a Christian, it is precisely because the Son presented your name to his, and now your, Father. Charity Bancroft expressed this idea well in the hymn ‘Before the Throne of God Above’:
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.
My name is grave on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
Because Christ is ever living to intercede for us, we can be sure of his love. The office of high priest is altogether one of grace.” Our High Priest knows how to sympathize with us in our weaknesses and infirmities (4:14-16) as He was “made like his brothers in every respect” though without sin (Heb. 2:17). The result is that we have a sympathetic High Priest who knows us and has mercy on us and loves us deeply.
“The question may be asked: How far does this affection extend and how deep does it reach? The answer is that no one in this life can fathom this affection. In fact, as Thomas Goodwin amazingly relates, ‘your very sins move him to pity more than to anger’, such is his sympathy for you. As Richard Sibbes well said: ‘There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.’ Our sin is no match for his mercy coupled with his sympathy.” (Mark Jones, Knowing Christ)
Dear saints, how shall we respond to such gracious, loving, and amazing intercession? The author of Hebrews says it well:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16)