When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, everything was perfect–until the Devil, taking the form of a serpent, deceived them (Genesis 1-3). Sin then entered the world, leading to a separation between man and God. There grew the need for a mediator, exemplified by the sacrifices common to nearly every nation in history. But these often proved futile, leaving man yet in need of a perfect mediator who would make acceptable and eternal intercession.
Intercession means “to assail anyone with petitions, to come between, or to urge”. Jesus fills the Father’s presence with petitions, standing between us and the wrath due our sin. Because of his sacrifice on the cross, the Father passes over our sins.
Yet many continue with life persuaded that they need to add to Christ’s work, otherwise their petitions will fall on deaf ears. Whether it is some freshly minted false teacher with ‘special powers’, or some long-deceased saint, or even Mary, the mother of Jesus, man ceases not to place hope in another, emptying the cross of Christ of its power, further to his ruin.
In Romans 8:26, we are made to appreciate the intensity with which the Spirit of God intercedes for us — “with groanings too deep for words”. It is matchless. Moreover, it is endless, for Christ “always lives to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25). No agony we experience is beyond this high priest who is able to sympathise with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) and knows us full well (Psalm 139:1-4). Because of Christ’s passionate and eternal intercession, we have a hope that is unfailing (Hebrews 7:24-25).
Why Christ Alone?
Scripture does exhort us to pray for one another (1 Timothy 2:1), but it isn’t as though we’d suffer condemnation because some pastor, ‘prophet’, or whomever it is we revere failed to pray for us. We’d only be condemned if our hope was not in the One who alone was “manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). Christ qualifies as the lone bridge between man and God because of:
No other man has lived this life without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). All of us, born of man, are bound up in rebellion against God. Jesus, on the other hand, lived a perfect life without a hint of sin. Your pastor, deacon, self-proclaimed prophet, etcetera cannot appear before the Father in sinless intercession on your behalf because, just like you, they too are sinful and would be struck dead on arrival. Hence the Old Testament priest, before he could sacrifice for the people’s sins, first offered a sacrifice for his own sins (Hebrews 7:26).
Old Testament saints yearned for one who would fully bridge the gap between man and God (Ezekiel 22:30; Job 9:33). Christ, fully man and fully God, is he.
Christ emptied himself without losing himself (Philippians 2:7-8)! He didn’t stop being God but gladly took on a lesser form for the sake of men. In becoming like us, he went through what we go through (Hebrews 2:16-17), yet without sin. He, therefore, relates with our temptations and is alone our refuge from sin (Hebrews 2:18, 4:14-15).
His Death, Ressurection and Ascension
Christ’s death silenced every accusation, for “the death he died, he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God” (Romans 6:10). Christ’s resurrection secured our justification (Romans 4:25), acquitting us of all the guilt we had by our sin incurred. Finally, Christ’s ascension assures us endless mediation, leaving us doubtless that we’ll make it home safely(Hebrews 7:25). In light of all these Paul asks, “Who is to condemn” (Romans 8:34)? Surely none, dead or alive, can condemn, let alone save. Child of God, set your hope only on the One who lived a perfect life, died, resurrected, ascended, and will return for you.
If you’ve read this and you’re not a Christian please click on our “Recieve Christ” button to learn how to be forgiven of your sins and have Christ as your interceder.