This week we will meditate on Hebrews 7:25,
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.
A principal theme of this chapter is how Dane Ortlund compares and contrasts the doctrine of justification with the doctrine of Christ’s intercession. In doing so, he reveals more fully the glory and the joy of both of these biblical teachings.
I particularly appreciated the reminder of Christian faith:
It is the most counterintuitive aspect of Christianity, that we are declared right with God not once we begin to get our act together but once we collapse into honest acknowledgment that we never will.
For me, this is a wonderful reminder. I can change my thought from, “Darn it! I still don’t have it together, I need to try harder” to “Jesus, I confess again I am not who I should be, thank you for helping me and saving me.”
When these doctrines are not held together, however, we can get the impression that salvation is a past tense, mechanical, and technical affair. A legal matter that some ancient court has resolved and which has unclear relevance to our own lives.
Of course, definitions matter. Ortlund provides us with one:
What is intercession?
In general terms it means that a third party comes between two others and makes a case to one on behalf of the other. Think of a parent interceding to a teacher on behalf of a child or an agent interceding to a sports franchise on behalf of an athlete.
What kind of intercession do we need?
Because we such great sinners, we need constant and complete intercession. And this is what the Bible teaches that Jesus gladly and earnestly provides for us.
But there’s that one deep, dark part of our lives, even our present lives, that seems so intractable, so ugly, so beyond recovery. “To the uttermost” in Hebrews 7:25 means: God’s forgiving, redeeming, restoring touch reaches down into the darkest crevices of our souls, those places where we are most ashamed, most defeated. More than this: those crevices of sin are themselves the places where Christ loves us the most. His heart willingly goes there. His heart is most strongly drawn there. He knows us to the uttermost, and he saves us to the uttermost, because his heart is drawn out to us to the uttermost. We cannot sin our way out of his tender care.
One way to think of Christ’s intercession, then, is simply this: Jesus is praying for you right now.
Prior to reading this chapter, in what ways did you suspect that Christ saved you in the past and then left you to work out the rest of your life on your own?
How is your prayer life changed by knowing that Jesus is already and always praying for you?