This article is part of the Gentle and Lowly: A 14-Day Devotional series.
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 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 7:22–25
Justification is tied to what Christ did in the past. Intercession is what he is doing in the present. Think of it this way. Christ’s heart is a steady reality flowing through time. It isn’t as if his heart throbbed for his people when he was on earth but has dissipated now that he is in heaven.
It’s not that his heart was flowing forth in a burst of mercy that took him all the way to the cross but has now cooled down, settling back once more into kindly indifference. His heart is as drawn to his people now as ever it was in his incarnate state. And the present manifestation of his heart for his people is his constant interceding on their behalf.
Intercession applies what the atonement accomplished. Christ’s present heavenly intercession on our behalf is a reflection of the fullness and victory and completeness of his earthly work, not a reflection of anything lacking in his earthly work. The atonement accomplished our salvation; intercession is the moment-by-moment application of that atoning work.
Pressing in more deeply, Christ’s intercession reflects how profoundly personal our rescue is. If we knew about Christ’s death and resurrection but not his intercession, we would be tempted to view our salvation in overly formulaic terms.
It would feel more mechanical than is true to who Christ actually is. His interceding for us reflects his heart—the same heart that carried him through life and down into death on behalf of his people is the heart that now manifests itself in constant pleading with and reminding and prevailing upon his Father to always welcome us.
Our sinning goes to the uttermost. But his saving goes to the uttermost.
The doctrine of the present heavenly intercession of Christ is neglected today. That is too bad, because it is a consoling truth and flows right out of the heart of Christ. Whereas the doctrine of the atonement reassures us with what Christ has done in the past, the doctrine of his intercession reassures us with what he is doing in the present.
If you are in Christ, you have an intercessor, a present-day mediator, one who is happily celebrating with his Father the abundant reason for both to embrace you into their deepest heart.
Our sinning goes to the uttermost. But his saving goes to the uttermost. And his saving always outpaces and overwhelms our sinning, because he always lives to intercede for us.
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