“The word intercede means literally, to move or pass between. It is to stand in the gap between two parties. This is what Jesus Christ is doing now! He stands in the gap between us and the Father, bringing us to the Father and holding us in relationship with him. He lives for this purpose! There is never a time when he is not actively engaged in this ministry on our behalf. It is his continuing work.”
Most Christians are familiar with what Christ has done on the cross and what Christ will do when he returns in glory. What may be less clear for some of us is the continuing work that Jesus is doing for us now.
The answer to that question is, Jesus Christ is interceding for us.
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. (Hebrews 7:25)
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. (Romans 8:34)
The word intercede means literally, to move or pass between. It is to stand in the gap between two parties. This is what Jesus Christ is doing now! He stands in the gap between us and the Father, bringing us to the Father and holding us in relationship with him. He lives for this purpose! There is never a time when he is not actively engaged in this ministry on our behalf. It is his continuing work.
Our Great High Priest
On the cross, Jesus accomplished all that is needed for your salvation. In heaven, he applies all that he accomplished on the cross to all who believe in him. And he does this by presenting you to the Father as his own! He brings you before the Father, and the Father sees you in him.
Mark Jones comments, “There is no Christian alive who has not had Christ mention his or her name to the Father.” Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father, and he is there for you.
We have a great High Priest who carries our names on his heart into the presence of the Father, so that the Father sees us in Christ, in his dearly loved Son. In Christ, God receives you as someone who is clothed in his righteousness. God will hear you when you pray as someone redeemed by Christ.
But what does this look like?
What Happens When You Pray
In Revelation 8, what we have is like a movie that jumps back and forth between two things that are happening at the same time—in heaven and on earth. The camera moves from one to the other to show us what happens in heaven when Christians pray on earth.
Scene One: The seals are opened in heaven.
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)
Something that is sealed or hidden, something that has been kept secret is opened up.
Christ, the Lamb, pulls back the curtain to give us a glimpse of what happens in heaven. When the veil is pulled back, all of creation collectively holds its breath. Then the camera moves from the scene in heaven to what is happening on earth:
Scene Two: Christians are praying.
The prayers of all the saints… (Revelation 8:3)
The saints are praying. In the Bible, the word saints is used to describe every person who, through faith in Christ, has become a child of God and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But what happens when believing people pray?