When Jesus Interposes
“Lift up your hands, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle… He is the King of glory.” Psalms 24:7-10
Christ came to earth as God in the guise of humanity. He ascended to heaven as the King of saints. His ascension was worthy of His exalted character. He went as one mighty in battle, a conqueror, leading captivity captive. He was attended by the heavenly host, amid shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song… All heaven united in His reception.
The most precious fact to the disciples in the ascension of Jesus was that He went from them into heaven in the tangible form of their divine Teacher… The last remembrance that the disciples were to have of their Lord was as the sympathizing Friend, the glorified redeemer… The brightness of the heavenly escort and the opening of the glorious gates of God to welcome Him were not to be discerned by mortal eyes.
Had the track of Christ to heaven been revealed to the disciples in all its inexpressible glory, they could not have endured the sight. Had they beheld the myriads of angels, and heard the bursts of triumph from the battlements of heaven, as the everlasting doors were lifted up, the contrast between that glory and their own lives in a world of trial, would have been so great that they would hardly have been able to again take up the burden of their earthly lives…
Their senses were not to become so infatuated with the glories of heaven that they would lose sight of the character of Christ on earth, which they were to copy in themselves. They were to keep distinctly before their minds the beauty and majesty of His life, the perfect harmony of all His attributes, and the mysterious union of the divine and human in His nature. It was better that the earthly acquaintance of the disciples with their Saviour should end in the solemn, quiet, and sublime manner in which it did. His visible ascent from the world was in harmony with the meekness and quiet of His life.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 72
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:11
Our great High Priest completed the sacrificial offering of Himself when He suffered without the gate. Then a perfect atonement was made for the sins of the people. Jesus is our Advocate, our High Priest, our Intercessor. Our present position therefore is like that of the Israelites, standing in the outer court, waiting and looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…
When the high priest entered the holy place, representing the place where our High Priest is now pleading, and offered sacrifice on the altar, no propitiatory sacrifices were offered without. While the high priest was interceding within, every heart was to be bowed in contrition before God, pleading for the pardon of transgression. Type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb slain for the sins of the world. The great High Priest has made the only sacrifice that will be of any value…
In His intercession as our Advocate, Christ needs no man’s virtue, no man’s intercession. Christ is the only sin bearer, the only sin offering. Prayer and confession are to be offered only to Him who has entered once for all into the holy place…
Christ represented His Father to the world, and He represents before God the chosen ones in whom He has restored the moral image of God. They are His heritage… No priest, no religionist, can reveal the Father to any son or daughter of Adam. Men have only one Advocate, one Intercessor, who is able to pardon transgression. Shall not our hearts swell with gratitude to Him who gave Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins? Think deeply upon the love the Father has manifested in our behalf, the love that he has expressed for us. We cannot measure this love. Measurement there is none. We can only point to Calvary, to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It is an infinite sacrifice. Can we comprehend and measure infinity?
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 73
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews. 2:17
Of the high priest of Israel we read, “Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.” Exodus 28:29 What a beautiful and expressive figure this is of the unchanging love of Christ for His church! Our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a type, bears His people upon His heart… Christ as the great high priest, making a perfect atonement for sin, stands alone in divine majesty and glory. Other high priests were only types, and when He appeared, the need of their services vanished… Let human beings, subject to temptation, remember that in the heavenly courts they have a high priest who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities, because He Himself was tempted, even as they are.
Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the high priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour, and His office no other can take. He is the high priest of the church…
Christ offered up His broken body to purchase back God’s heritage, to give man another trial. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascent to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 74
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Roman 8:34
Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the alter, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man… A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain…
Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving…
The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary; but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor who is at God’s right hand presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is not taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of his people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ’s propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable…
O, that all may see that everything in obedience, in penitence, in praise and thanksgiving must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ. The fragrance of this righteousness ascends like a cloud around the mercy seat.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 75
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I John 2:1
God’s appointments and grants in our behalf are without limit. The throne of grace itself is occupied by One who permits us to call Him Father… He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed in our nature. As our Intercessor, Christ’s office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. He intercedes in behalf of those who receive Him. With His own blood He has paid their ransom. By virtue of His merits He gives them power to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ by receiving and welcoming Christ’s friends as His friends. He is satisfied with the atonement made. He is glorified by the incarnation, the life, death, and mediation of His Son.
In Christ’s name our petitions ascend to the Father. He intercedes in our behalf, and the Father lays open all the treasures of His grace for our appropriation, for us to enjoy and impart to others.
Christ is the connecting link between God and man… He places the whole virtue of His righteousness on the side of the suppliant. He pleads for man, and man, in need of divine help, pleads for himself in the presence of God, using the influence of the One who gave His life for the life of the world. As we acknowledge before God our appreciation of Christ’s merits, fragrance is given to our intercessions. As we approach God through the virtue of the Redeemer’s merits, Christ places us close by His side, encircling us with His human arm, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. He puts His merits, as sweet incense, in the censer in our hands, in order to encourage our petitions…
Yes, Christ has become the medium of prayer between man and God. He has also become the medium of blessing between God and man.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 76
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:24
Our precious Redeemer is standing before the Father as our intercessor… Let those who meet the divine standard search the Scriptures for themselves, that they may have a knowledge of the life of Christ and understand His mission and work. Let them behold Him as their Advocate, standing within the vail, having in His hand the golden censer from which the holy incense of the merits of His righteousness ascends to God in behalf of those who pray to Him. Could they thus behold Him they would feel an assurance that they have a powerful, influential Advocate in the heavenly courts, and that their suit is gained at the throne of God.
What an experience may be attained at the footstool of mercy, which is the only place of sure refuge! You may discern the fact that God is back of His promises, and not dread the issue of your prayers or doubt that Jesus is standing as our surety and substitute. As you confess your sins, as you repent of your iniquity, Christ takes your guilt upon Himself and imputes to you His own righteousness and power. To those who are contrite in spirit He gives the golden oil of love and the rich treasures of His grace. It is then that you may see that the sacrifice of self to God through the merits of Christ makes you of infinite value, for clothed in the robe of Christ’s righteousness you become the sons and daughters of God. Those who… ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus will receive their request. At the very first expression of penitence Christ presents the humble suppliant’s petition before the throne as His own desire in the sinner’s behalf. He says, “I will pray the Father for you.” John 16:26
Jesus, our precious Saviour, could not see us exposed to the fatal snares of Satan and forbear making an infinite sacrifice on our behalf. He interposes Himself between Satan and the tempted soul and says, “Get thee behind me, Satan. Let me come close to this tempted soul.” He pities and loves every humble, trembling suppliant.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 77
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
What does intercession comprehend? It is the golden chain which binds finite man to the throne of the infinite God. The human agent whom Christ has died to save importunes the throne of God, and his petition is taken up by Jesus who has purchased him with His own blood. Our great High Priest places His righteousness on the side of the sincere suppliant, and the prayer of Christ blends with that of the human petitioner.
Christ has urged that His people pray without ceasing. This does not mean that we should always be upon our knees, but that prayer is to be as the breath of the soul. Our silent requests, wherever we may be, are to be ascending unto God, and Jesus our Advocate pleads in our behalf, bearing up with the incense of His righteousness our requests to the Father.
The Lord Jesus loves His people, and when they put their trust in Him, depending wholly upon Him, He strengthens them. He will live through them, giving them the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to the soul a vital transfusion of Himself. He acts through their faculties and causes them to choose His will and to act our His character. With the apostle Paul they then may say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
The Lord will not leave His afflicted, tried children to be the sport of Satan’s temptations. It is your privilege to trust in Jesus. The heavens are full of rich blessings… We have not because we ask not, or because we do not pray in faith, believing that we shall be blessed with the special influence of the Holy Spirit. To the true seeker through the mediation of Christ the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit are imparted.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 78