The Intercession of Christ – What Is Our Salvation?

Old English Archer

Most of us heard this passage quoted to us as we were led to the Lord…

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [But we] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:23-25 KJ2000)

We were made to see that we are all sinners, but God has made the provision of His Son to deal with that. But how many of us understand this word “propitiation”? In old England they had what were called “Whipping Boys.” If a man of stature in that culture committed a crime that was punishable by a public flogging he could hire a whipping boy who would take the beating for him. This comes close to what “propitiation” means.

 We also have been told that the word “sin” in the New Testament means is to miss the mark or to fall short. It was an old English archery term. When an archer would shoot at a target and fall short the spotter at the target area would call out, “Sin!” And we all know how we have fallen short of the glory that God has for us to walk in—the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Now consider these two passages from the New Testament…

 

In this way, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. There have been many priests, since they have been prevented by death from continuing in office. But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, because he always lives to intercede for them, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him. We need such a high priest-one who is holy, innocent, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. (Hebrews 7:22-26 ISV – emphasis added)

Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

 My wife, Dorothy, and I just got back from a road trip to Texas and drove a grueling 5000 miles on our journey. We went down there to go to our grand daughter’s wedding which was a nice family gathering with two of our kids and their families, One of the highlights of the trip for us was a visit with Charlie Lafferty and his dear wife, Alice, who live just east of Dallas. Their hospitality was wonderful. What made my visit with Charlie stand out was one morning we were sitting at his kitchen table and we got to talking about how Jesus is at the right hand of God making intercession for us. Charlie was saying how he had always heard the above verse in Hebrews interpreted to mean that God is mad at us sinners and ready to toss us all into hell and Jesus is there at the right hand of God pleading with Him not to do it. He said that didn’t seem right to him, so I got out my computer Bible program and here is what Thayer’s dictionary has to say about the Greek word that was translated “intercession” in the above verses.

 G1793 – ἐντυγχάνω entugchanō

1) to light upon a person or a thing, fall in with, hit upon, a person or a thing

2) to go to or meet a person, especially for the purpose of conversation, consultation, or supplication

3) to pray, entreat

4) make intercession for any one

From [two Greek words] G1722 and G5177

 G1722 – ἐν en

  • in, by, with etc.

and

G5177 – tugchanō

1) to hit the mark

1a) of one discharging a javelin or arrow

  • to reach, attain, obtain, get, become master of

So to intercede means to reach and obtain and hit the target WITH Christ making this possible for us to do as He sits at the right hand of God in heaven.

 Paul used this same Greek word when he wrote,

 In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes [entugchanō] with groans too deep for words, and the one who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, for the Spirit intercedes [entugchanō] for the saints according to God’s will. And we know that he works all things together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28 ISV)

God fills us with His Spirit who also fills-in for our weaknesses and prays according to the will of God for us. It is the will of our Father that the Son and the Spirit of God hit the mark in our behalf. Wow! Everything we need is in Christ! David caught the intent of God’s heart concerning us when he wrote,

 He has not dealt with us according to our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:10-14 KJ2000)

When we sin we miss the mark of our high calling in Jesus Christ, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” but…

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house… But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house [family or household] are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:1-6 KJ2000)

He is at the right hand of God, our Father, as the Head of His household and as such is our intercessor hitting the mark with God for us as we trust in Him. It is as if He takes our short comings (sins) and replaces them with HIS ability to hit the mark (intercede) with God. WE then are found IN Him with the ability [grace] to reach, attain, obtain and become masters of all that pertains to His holiness! God is not that angry judge sitting there just waiting to punish us! NO! That is a lie from hell. As Jesus put it, “For God so LOVED the world that He sent His only begotten son, that whosoever would believe (cling to, rely on and trust in) Him would NOT perish, but have everlasting life.” What a great understanding Father we have and what a Savior we have in His Son!!!

800 years before Christ, Isaiah prophesied of this great saving work that God would do for His creation saying,

Yet it was the will of the LORD [the Father] to bruise him [God’s own Son]; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:10-12 RSVA)

 Amen! Thank you Lord Jesus for making every provision we need to please our Father as we trust in you.

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11 comments on “The Intercession of Christ – What Is Our Salvation?

  1. Alan says:

    Dear brother, I love you and this topic. May we have a true understanding of the Mark we are to desire to hit and Lord we praise you humbly for your intercession as we fall short (sin) and grow from the experience of the Father loving His children. May we love in the likeness…

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    • Michael says:

      Alan, I love you too in His wonderful love of the Son. The mark He would have us hit is clear. May we all humble ourselves before Him and submit to His hand as He does this work in us. I think Paul summed up what you wrote in your comment saying,

      “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if indeed I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14 KJ2000)

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  2. Scarlett says:

    It is so comforting to me to know my Savior Jesus intercedes for me, for of a truth, I don’t always know how to pray about certain issues that seem complicated and beyond what I would consider normal praying, even in my spiritual language.

    Years ago I came across this passage of scripture in John 11:33 ” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in his spirit, and was troubled,” and noticed how it corresponded with the passage you posted in Romans 8:26-28, Michael;

    “In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes [entugchanō] with groans too deep for words, and the one who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, for the Spirit intercedes [entugchanō] for the saints according to God’s will. And we know that he works all things together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28 ISV).

    Many of the modern translations don’t use the words “Jesus groaned in His Spirit”. I think they “missed the mark”, because in the full context of the passages, it says this;

    “33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in his spirit, and was troubled,

    34And said, Where have you laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

    35Jesus wept.

    36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

    37And some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

    38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself came to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

    39Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days.

    40Jesus said unto her, Said I not unto you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God?

    41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

    42And I knew that you hear me always: but because of the people who stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me.

    43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.”

    This is so amazing to notice that Jesus didn’t speak ONE WORD of audible prayer, but rather, He “groaned in His Spirit”, and then afterward said” Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

    42And I knew that you hear me always”.

    This is a perfect illustration of how powerful this form of intercession is. I don’t personally believe we can “work up” this form of prayer, but when we are deeply troubled about something, we make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit, and likewise the precious Holy Spirit makes Himself and His power available to intercede for us, as it says in Romans 8:26-28.

    Thank you so much for posting this Michael, and once again reminding us of the wonderful and powerful intercession our LORD provides for us, in our weaknesses.

    May grace and peace be multiplied to you and all the brethren,

    Scarlett

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    • Michael says:

      Thank you Scarlett, for reminding me of this level of deep prayer. I have to believe that Father is not deaf to the anguish of our hearts when we pray and sometimes we can not find the words to express the burden that is on our souls. I am reminded of the story of Hannah as she prayed at the door of the tabernacle and how Eli thought she was drunk.

      And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli observed her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunk. And Eli said unto her, How long will you be drunk? put away your wine from you. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. (1 Samuel 1:12-15 KJ2000)

      Was she praying in the Spirit with words that could not be uttered? I think this was the case and Eli, the high priest totally missed it thinking she was drunk. Thank God that Father answered her prayers and she conceived and bore Samuel, one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament.

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  3. Kennth Dawson says:

    That is so very encouraging to know that for all eternity he is there sticking up for us and boy do we need it.

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  4. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you, my Brother, for reminding us that we serve a living Savior, not a history book called the Bible.

    Enjoy being home, and love to you and Dorothy, keep the living Word flowing,
    Pat Orr

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    • Michael says:

      Pat, I agree fully. Too many people think that the Bible is all we need. The problem is that a carnal mind reading the Bible will always come to carnal conclusions. The Spirit of God must be speaking to our spirits if we are to come into all truth as Jesus promised. Jesus IS the Word of God, not a leather bound gilded edged book. He, as the Word of God (read John ch. 1), can and does speak through that book but He is not limited to it. He often speaks through my dear wife! Consider the following passage…

      “For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:12-16 KJ2000)

      The context of Hebrews 4:12 IS JESUS CHRIST NOT THE BIBLE! HE is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts, not an inanimate object. Way too much reverence is given to a book (and its teachers) in our culturalized Christianity that actually belongs to our Savior.
      God bless you Pat!

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  5. Deborah says:

    Great post, Michael! It’s wonderful that we can see the true nature of God in the life of Jesus — that He is humble and He is love. 🙂

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    • Michael says:

      Deborah, thanks for your comment, dear sister. Yes, He is now and always has been there for us with His great love, making His Bride ready. To know Him as the God WHO IS THERE with and for us makes all the difference to me as he bears me up in my victories and in my defeats that I might hit the mark of the Father’s high calling IN His Son.

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  6. A few months back I made myself out to be a bumbling idiot before some of the brothers I fellowship with. I had asked for some advice and then criticized some of their responses. Not real wise on my part.

    I promptly apologized to them all and was back to my usual self as if nothing had happened. This didn’t seem to sit well with one brother who said to me, “Well Mike, you got over that real quick.”

    Thinking this statement over, I thought to myself, “well of course, Jesus isn’t holding it over my head so why should I?”

    Here’s the point. We ought to take seriously what God speaks to us. Far too many people are wallowing in things they did years ago as if they have to do penance for their own sins. What rubbish. Why can’t we just believe God and get on with Him and one another.

    I understand that some people will want me to dwell in my faults and will throw my failures continually in my face. They will remind me of how I hurt them (10 years ago) and attempt to stir up some renewed animosity. But I’m not buying it……I know my Savior much better than that!

    What Jesus finished I can’t add to and won’t attempt to add to. He alone is sufficient. Oh my, can you imagine how free others would be if they simply believed what Jesus speaks to His own?

    I know I fail. I know I make others miserable at times. I know you think I’m pathetic. But there’s something greater here. He’s made, and is making me something I can never be…….and the only hope of that ever happening in real time is if I trust what He says and continue to believe His magnificent promises- today, tomorrow and well, now.

    Away with all doubters, I left my miserable sinful self on the cross with Jesus, and I’m not going back!

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    • Michael says:

      Yes, Michael F., this is a trick of our enemy on those who are in Christ for sure… to either get us to focus on how great we are or on how miserable we are… either way we have our eyes one ourselves instead of on Jesus who alone is our sufficiency in all things pertaining unto righteousness. If any man sins we know that we have an Advocate with the Father. It was good that you saw your error that quick and repented. Asking forgiveness when we realize that we have offended a brother keeps the air clear around us. If they do not want to grant that forgiveness the air stays clouded around them and we can’t do anything about that but pray for them. All we can do is deal with our own sins in the humility of Christ. John summed it up quite well when he wrote…

      “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
      (1 John 1:6-9 KJ2000)

      That about sums it up for me regarding Christian fellowship, walking in the Light, sin and the cure, confessing our sin and the blood of Jesus cleansing us from our shortcomings so we can go on fellowshipping and growing in His love.

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