We all face tough times in this world. Our kids, families, spouse, parents, friends, and the world we live in today faces so much turmoil and uncertainty. We ourselves struggle sometimes at work, jobs, relationship with others, disappointment in ministry, opening, etc. The list goes on. Where do we get our help from? Well, the Lord Jesus is not done with us yet, he’s still laboring for us, helping us, for us to make it all the way to the finishing line when we will meet him in heaven in the end time, Parousia.
Romans 8:34 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.
One of the most moving moments after reading Jesus the High Priest by Richard Gaffin is that he continues to labor for us after he’s accomplished the hardest work for us on the cross in that violent death he bled to death for humanity. I thought that would have be an awesome reward in heaven celebrating with the Father, Spirit, and the angels for a long time before welcoming us actually physically into the eternal bliss of heavenly paradise. Actually his reward is us.
And not stopping working! He still is working away nonstop for us! Imagine that he’s seated on the right hand of God the Father on his throne, he is interceding for us now.
I have two questions. Why is he still interceding when all the job is done for the redemption of mankind? Second, he is God himself, the second person of the Trinity, so why does he need to pray to God? It’s like God the Son praying to God the Father. So what’s going on? And finally why is he still sweating it out after he’s accomplished a humanly impossible task, and heavenly impossible task?
He is interceding for us all, because he knows that we are not out of the wood, so to speak. In another words, we are like Israel delivered from Egyptian bondage and slavery, but not entered into the promised land, and are still in the desert, wilderness. We are exactly like that, we have been redeemed and saved by the blood of Christ once and for all, but we have not entered our promised land. Our salvation is not complete yet. It has started in the process, and that’s why the teaching on Hebrews is totally important.
Hebrews 4:1-2 (ESV) 1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. — Let us fear, or let us worry!
We need help! That’s a fact. How many Christians today don’t struggle. Struggle in life with trials, hardship is almost a prerequisite for maturity and flow into the will of God.
The parallel between Israel’s exodus story and our story now bears remarkable similarity, but our ending will be much better. Israel went through 40 years of tests in the desert, burning hot in the days, and cold in the nights. We are now going through some ‘hot’ season emotionally, spiritually, time in America too. Do we not sometimes argue with our spouse? Our loved ones? With our friends? Do we get discouraged when we see our ministry is not seeing open door? When we see our kids struggle? When we struggle with job? When we despair when we see racism that’s systemic? Covid Pandemic that ravaged thousands and thousands of deaths in US alone? Anyhow you get the point.
That’s why we need a high priest praying for us. Jesus knows that we are struggling in our journey to our promised land. And there is a verse that explains it well:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Heb 4:14-16)
Jesus empathizes with our weaknesses because he himself was a man on earth and have been tempted in every way , just as we are, yet he did not sin. This is in itself very moving and touching that the transcendent Son of God willingly exposed himself to be tempted as a human in every way like us. This is almost unbecoming of him for the glorious one who holds the universe in his hands, should be exposed to discouragement, insults, mocks, sexual, danger temptations, all in his effort to save us to glory! Not only that he conquered them all. Look at the direct conflict between him and the devil in the wilderness after 40 days fast, at his weakest point.
Jesus fully understands our feelings and struggles in life, and he wants to support us. Jesus went through all these, just to be able to help us! Talking about love and friendship!
What does he do praying for us when he is God himself? He is praying for us as the High Priest, not as God, though he is. That’s the complex one because it will be a huge issue called Nicene Trinitarian theology, which I will be writing some other time.
Jesus loves us.