Does Jesus intercede for Christians?

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By BibleAsk Team


The intercession of Jesus for Christians is a profound and foundational aspect of Christian theology, rooted in the biblical witness and affirmed throughout the history of Christian doctrine and practice. Through His ongoing intercessory ministry, Jesus advocates on behalf of believers before the Father, offering prayers, mediation, and support in their journey of faith. By examining the biblical teachings on Jesus’ intercession, exploring its theological significance, and considering its implications for Christian life and spirituality, we can gain a deeper understanding of this vital aspect of the believer’s relationship with God.

Biblical Foundations

The New Testament provides rich insights into Jesus’ role as the intercessor for Christians, highlighting His ongoing ministry of prayer and advocacy on their behalf. Several key passages illuminate the biblical basis for Jesus’ intercessory work:

Romans 8:34

  • Romans 8:34 (NKJV): “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

In this verse, the apostle Paul asserts that Jesus, who has been exalted to the right hand of God following His resurrection, continues to intercede for believers. This intercessory ministry demonstrates Jesus’ ongoing involvement in the lives of His followers and His role as their advocate before God.

Hebrews 7:25

  • Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV): “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

The author of Hebrews emphasizes the perpetual nature of Jesus’ intercessory ministry, noting that He “always lives” to intercede for those who approach God through Him. This passage underscores the efficacy of Jesus’ intercession in securing the salvation and spiritual well-being of believers.

1 John 2:1-2

  • 1 John 2:1-2 (NKJV): “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

John portrays Jesus as the Advocate or “Paraclete” for believers, emphasizing His role in representing them before the Father. Jesus’ advocacy is intimately linked to His atoning sacrifice, as He serves as the propitiation for the sins of His people.

Theological Significance

Mediator between God and Humanity

Jesus’ intercessory ministry serves as a manifestation of His role as the mediator between God and humanity, reconciling sinful humanity to a holy God through His sacrificial death and ongoing advocacy. As the perfect mediator, Jesus bridges the gap between God’s holiness and human sinfulness, facilitating communion and relationship between believers and their heavenly Father.

Some wrongly believe that Christ’s ministry for the believers ended at the cross. But a careful study of the Sanctuary reveals that the sacrifice of lamb in the court yard was merely the first step that the priest performed on behalf of the sinner. The priest continued his ministry in the Holy and most Holy place interceding for the repentant ones.

In following the sanctuary pattern of services, after His resurrection, Christ ascended to heaven, was seated at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 1:9; Colossians 3:1). He became our high priest. Paul wrote, “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1, NKJV).

Christ is our intercessor and advocate with the Father is clearly stated in Scripture (Hebrews 9:24; 4:14–16; 9:11, 12). The apostle John affirmed, “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, NKJV).  And the apostle Paul stressed the same truth saying, “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34, NKJV).

This doesn’t mean that God needs to be persuaded to bless His people, for it was His “will” (1 Timothy 2:4) that initiated the plan of salvation. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).

And the nature of Christ’s  intercession, it can be illustrated by Christ’s intercessory prayer for His disciples (John 17:11, 12, 24). As Jesus intercedes, He became the living link that connects humans to heaven (Genesis 28:12). “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV). Only through Jesus redeeming ministry can the sinner be reconciled to God (John 14:5–6; Romans 5:1–2).

Assurance of Salvation

The assurance of Jesus’ intercession provides believers with confidence and security in their relationship with God. Knowing that Jesus continually prays and advocates for them offers reassurance of God’s steadfast love, forgiveness, and faithfulness, even in times of doubt, struggle, or spiritual adversity.

Empowerment for Prayer

Jesus’ intercession also empowers believers in their own prayer lives, serving as a model and inspiration for their own prayers of intercession. As believers participate in Jesus’ intercessory ministry through prayer, they are invited to align their petitions with His will and purposes, confident that He hears and responds to their cries.

Victory over Accusation

Jesus’ intercession undermines the accusations of the adversary, who seeks to condemn and accuse believers before God. By advocating for believers as their righteous representative, Jesus nullifies the charges brought against them, ensuring their justification and acceptance before the Father.

Practical Implications

Intimacy with God

The awareness of Jesus’ intercession fosters a deeper sense of intimacy and communion with God, as believers recognize His constant presence and advocacy in their lives. This awareness cultivates a vibrant prayer life and a greater dependence on God’s grace and mercy.

Perseverance in Faith

Jesus’ intercession provides encouragement and strength for believers to persevere in their faith journey, even in the face of trials, temptations, and spiritual opposition. Knowing that Jesus intercedes on their behalf gives believers the courage to press on and trust in God’s faithfulness.

Compassion for Others

The knowledge of Jesus’ intercession compels believers to extend compassion, grace, and intercessory prayer to others, following His example of selfless love and advocacy. As recipients of Jesus’ intercession, believers are called to intercede for one another, bearing one another’s burdens and lifting each other up before the throne of grace.

Hope for the Future

Jesus’ intercession points believers toward the ultimate fulfillment of God’s redemptive purposes and the hope of eternal life in His presence. As Jesus intercedes for believers, He secures their future inheritance and assures them of the promise of glory yet to come.

Conclusion

The intercession of Jesus for Christians is a central tenet of Christian faith and theology, grounded in the biblical witness and affirmed throughout the history of the church. Through His ongoing ministry of prayer and advocacy, Jesus serves as the mediator between God and humanity, reconciling believers to the Father and securing their salvation.

The awareness of Jesus’ intercession provides believers with assurance, empowerment, and hope for the future, fostering intimacy with God, perseverance in faith, compassion for others, and confidence in the promises of God. As believers embrace the reality of Jesus’ intercession, they are invited into a deeper relationship with God and a life of prayer, service, and discipleship, grounded in the assurance of His unfailing love and grace.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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