Who is to condemn? 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
My little children I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. ~1 John 2:1
Jesus Christ, Intercessor and Advocate. In the painful wrestling with sin and the doubt and condemnation that follows, we have Jesus. In the times of failure or accusation, we have Jesus. In the times of discouragement and suffering, we have Jesus. Jesus came with great purpose, and one of the many facets of His glorious personhood is Intercessor and Advocate.
To intercede in Romans 8 is a Greek word meaning to entreat, make a petition or application for. But the root of this word means “to strike, hit the bulls eye” and in classic Greek writing this word was used as the antonym of the word that meant “to miss the mark, sin.” Jesus Christ intercedes for us as one who has hit the bulls eye, who has not sinned. From that position, intercession is powerful before a holy God. Romans 8 declares that sin has been condemned by Christ, we have been justified and have become sons of God, and from this secure position, no more charges can come against us. Hebrews 7:25 proclaims, “Consequently 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.” Our Intercessor has saved you and me to the uttermost by completely hitting the mark we never could. He presents the truth of our salvation through His death and resurrection to the Father.
An advocate is a legal term, paraclete in the Greek, meaning one who appeals, gives evidence in a court, stands on one’s behalf. When the Greek word paraclete is broken down into its root words it truly means “one who is close beside who makes a call.” Jesus Christ comes before the Father appealing on my behalf, pointing not to my sin but to his actions. He is the propitiation for our sins, the sacrifice of atonement that paid in full my sin debt. His righteousness, represented eternally for me by Him, will ensure my redemption – that my sin has been covered by the sacrifice. Uniquely, this word for advocate also has been used by Jesus to describe the Holy Spirit in John chapters 14 – 16. Jesus Christ intercedes for us before the Father as the one who bore our sin. (Is. 53:12) The Holy Spirit has been sent by Christ to help us, indwelling and interceding for us before the Father. The One who is close beside and makes a call, an entreaty on my behalf because He has fully paid my sin debt.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:37-39