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The Intercession of Messiah
by Alon Ronk
All too often the people of God seem to be living in defeat. There's not much joy, not much victory etc. But the problem is that they continuously beat themselves over the head with their own faults and become bogged down in a quagmire of guilt. This is a weakness that the enemy of our souls is all too ready to exploit. It is good for us to acknowledge our sins and seek forgiveness, but once we have done this, why should we continue to carry that burden of guilt on our shoulders?
Romans 8:34 says, " Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." After Jesus makes intercession for us and forgives us of our sins, who is it that condemns us? The answer is, You. One of hell's greatest greatest weapons against a believer is to get the believer to accuse theirself to themselves and make them think it's God who is accusing them. Jesus is not the accuser.
The scriptures tell us that Satan is the accuser. Revelation 12:10, "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Look also at the following examples. Job 1:9-11, " Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face." Job 2:4-5, "And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face." Zechariah 3:1, "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him." The word, resist, in this verse is actually Satan's name i.e "satan". Satan showed up to be an adversary. He positioned himself at Joshua, the high priest's right side, which, as we will see from the New Covenant, is a position of intercession. However, Satan uses it to resist or oppose Joshua. By the way, this is not the same Joshua who succeeded Moses.
Satan also accuses God before man. In Genesis 3:1-5 the Bible tells us, " Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Basically what Satan is saying to Eve is, God is holding out on you. Even to this day, how often have we heard someone blame God for something bad that happened to them? Satan accuses us to each other to sow discord and division. The word, Devil, is from the greek word, Diabolis. In 1 Timothy 3:11 it is translated, slanderer; "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." So let's establish the point then, that Satan is the great accuser.
But what was the Messiah's mission? Basically in a nutshell it was to save fallen man from sin. John 3:16-17 says, " For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Jesus did not come on a mission of condemnation but a mission of deliverance. For example, John 8:10-11, " When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." And again in Luke 9:54-56, " And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. F or the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them..."
The Messiah is our great intercessor. Intercede is defined by New Webster's Dictionary of the English Language as, " To act between parties with a view to reconciling their differences or points of contention; mediate; to plead on behalf of another." Intercession is defined as, " The act of interceeding; prayer or petition on behalf of another." An example of this is found in Luke 22:31-34, " And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me." Jesus foreknew all that would happen with Peter in the coming days. Jesus did not prevent it from happening, instead, He prayed to the Father on Peter's behalf. Peter thought he was strong. In fact, when Jesus told Peter that Peter would deny Him, Peter contradicted the Lord on the spot and denied it. Peter did mean it, but Jesus knew better. But He did not condemn Peter, He prayed for him.
The first time we find the word, intercession, is in Isaiah 53. In verse 12 it says, " Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." As Jesus poured out His soul unto death, He prayed, " Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do;" - Lk.23:34.
Our opening text spoke of Messiah as being seated at the right hand of God. From there He makes intercession. So evidently, His seat at the right hand of God is a manifestation of His continuing ministry of intercession. Mark 16:19 tells us, " So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." Acts 7:55 says, " But he, [Stephen] being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." Hebrews 10:12 says, " But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." So it is evident, that at present, Jesus continuously intercedes on our behalf. He is the Great Intercessor. The Scriptures call Him our Advocate in 1 John 2:1; " 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: " Advocate, in this verse, means, "one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate;"- Strong's Concordance.
The word is very interesting in light of the fact that it also connects the Messiah's ministry of intercession to the work of the Spirit of God. Romans 8:26-27 says, " Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." The greek word for Advocate, paracletos, is also found in John 14, verses16-17 and 26 where it is translated, Comforter. " And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.(vs.26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
Intercession does not give us a permit to sin. It is true that, " Ro 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: " however, intercession is not ignorant of, nor does it condone sin. What did Jesus tell the woman taken in adultery? "Go and sin no more." Our eternal salvation rests on Grace. If you can not do any thing to earn salvation, what makes you think you can do anything to keep it? Man can not claim any credit for the work of God. Yet, Grace does not excuse unacceptable conduct but rather, through Messiah's intercession, seeks reconciliation and restoration.
It was not so much my intention to do a message on what intercession is, but rather on the positive effect it has in our every day walk of life. The point is to realize that through intercession we are more than conquerers in the Messiah and that in spite of our downfalls and shortcomings we can still know the victory that was won for us on Golgotha. 1 John 3:20, " For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things." 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." So we can experience forgiveness instead of lugging around a pack of guilt on our backs all the time.