Today I want to show that Jesus is interceding for his people. Romans 8:34 says: “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Paul has already reminded his audience that “If God is for us, who can be against us? ” (Verse 31) and that God has proved that he is for us by giving up his own son.
In the verse quoted above he reminds us that as we have already seen, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, and that he is “interceding for us.” Perhaps a more familiar word would be “praying.”
The wonderful news is that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father for us. So many Christians struggle with a sense of condemnation, but far from being condemned the Christian is able to say “I have a great high priest who ever lives to make intercession for me.”
Sometimes we sing about this truth in the words of 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 graven 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.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Saviour and my God!
Charitie Lees Smith
The news that Jesus intercedes for his people is wonderful news. I have to confess to having struggled with perfectionist tendencies, and so I know that the demands of perfection can be crushing. How could I ever pray acceptably to a perfect God? How could I ever obey a perfect God sufficiently well?
One of my favourite quotes from the great puritan pastor and preacher John Owen says:
Believers obey Christ as the one whom our obedience is accepted by God. Believers know all their duties are weak, imperfect, and unable to abide in God’s presence. Therefore they look to Christ as the one who bears the iniquity of their holy things, who adds incense to their prayers, gathers out all the weeds from their duties and makes them acceptable to God. (Communion with God.)
Because we have an ascended high priest in Jesus who “ever lives and pleads for me” We offer our prayers and service to our Father by looking to Christ and knowing that because he is there our prayers our heard and our obedience accepted. Wonderful news indeed.