Key Verse: “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
MANY KINDS OF PRAYER are found in the gospel record. Jesus’ petitions included those of communion, adoration, thanksgiving, request, supplication, and humble acquiescence. They never, however, included confession, because he was the holy and perfect son of God. Paul said, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”—Heb. 7:25,26
Throughout the Gospel Age the Lord’s consecrated people, through faith, have been given the wonderful privilege of having Jesus serve as their High Priest. (Heb. 3:1) Additionally, he is our Advocate, that we may come, in his name, to the throne of heavenly grace and commune directly with God in prayer. John wrote, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (I John 2:1) In the next verse, John informs us that Jesus’ position as our Advocate is because “he is the propitiation for our sins.”
When Jesus appeared in the presence of God and presented the merit of his ransom sacrifice, he earned the position of Advocate for all those who would turn away from sin and give their lives in consecration to God. Having “bought us” with his precious blood, and by our faith in this “propitiation,” Jesus has interceded for us and become to each one individually “an advocate with the Father.” Because of this, we can approach God in prayer, in Jesus’ name, even though we still carry with us the imperfections of our fallen flesh. As long as we abide under the covering blood of Jesus’ righteousness, it is not necessary for him to continually intercede for us, although he will do all things necessary to assist us as we strive to make our calling and election sure.
There are two groups which will ultimately benefit from Jesus’ intercession. The first, as already discussed, have been the footstep followers of Jesus being developed during the Gospel Age. He has been a “propitiation for our sins.” As Christ’s footstep followers now, we have “made a covenant with [God] by sacrifice.” (Ps. 50:5) We are counted as accepted “in the beloved” Jesus, our Intercessor and Advocate, and he continues to daily guide and direct our path to keep us in the way.
John adds, however, “not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:2) At the beginning of Christ’s kingdom the benefits of Jesus’ intercession on behalf of mankind in general will be made available to all people—“the whole world”—as John states. A New Covenant will be inaugurated with Christ, head and body members complete, as its Mediator.
Let us be continually thankful to God for providing his son to be a satisfaction for sins. As the words of our Key Verse point out, let us also never forget that we, and the world, have a sympathetic High Priest, one who has been “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” and has been tested in all points, “yet without sin.” Such knowledge should compel us to continue in our walk and, to the best of our ability, live up to the divine standard that has been set before us.