The Bible tells us that we all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. And because there is no one who can extricate himself from the penalty of sin, which is death, we need a saviour. This is the reason why Jesus came “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). For us to be spared from the penalty of our sins, Jesus had to die on the cross. But the only time that we personally benefit from his death is when we receive him as our Lord and Saviour. It is therefore incumbent on us to take the initiative to surrender our lives to him and be born again.
As we live our born again lives, we will continue to face all kinds of challenges. The devil will do his part in obstructing our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in this regard that we need Jesus as our intercessor. The Book of Hebrews tells us that “he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Heb 7:25). It must be noted that the intercessory ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ started here on earth. While he was still with his disciples, he kept praying for them. He often asked the Father to spare those who believed in him. On one particular occasion, he pleaded to the Father saying, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:15-17).
Our receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is just the first step in our salvation process. We are not saved until we are taken out of the world. In the meantime, we continue to live in this world, among the wicked. To survive in this world is again a struggle but just as Jesus prayed, the Word of God will set us apart from the wicked and will provide us the needed shield. It is indeed difficult to live in this world without becoming worldly. It is only by the grace of God and through the intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can overcome the world. The apostle Paul brought further encouragement to the believers when he said, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). If we ever drop out of the race, it is not because the Lord failed but because we chose to fail. The Lord is able to carry on to completion what he started in us.
The good news to us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is that he is alive. Though he died on the cross, he rose again on the third day and he now lives forevermore. Until he comes back, his ministry is to intercede for us. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven to plead for our case. It is worth noting that while still here on earth, he said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16). With this, we are to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus Christ whenever we pray to the Father. Without the intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ, we cannot access God who is in heaven. In fact, it is only through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our being born again that we have the right to become children of God and thus call him Abba Father.
Apart from Jesus, there is no one who could act as our mediator, intercessor or advocate. The apostle Paul clarified this in his letter to Timothy saying, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). Therefore, no one is to seek anyone, whether living or dead, as intercessor to the Father except the Lord Jesus Christ. The reason why Jesus can intercede to the Father on our behalf is because he himself is God. As such, we should always pray to the Father in the name of Jesus and not in the name of anybody else.
When we do our intercessory prayers and pray for one another, we should also be invoking the name of the Lord Jesus. Since we now have direct access to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, it is even better if we ourselves pray for our own needs. In his epistle, the apostle James said, “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise” (James 5:13). Yes, if we have problems, we should do the praying ourselves so that we can fully express our hearts to God. In this way, our prayers become fervent and we know that a fervent prayer is answered by God. We should always pray when in trouble, in the same way that we sing when we are happy. Always remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Intercessor and he is faithful until the end. Hallelujah!