A Brief Meditation for the Month

November 2023

One of the sweetest and most comforting truths about the Saviour’s ministry of intercession for his people in heaven is the fact that he is a high priest who feels for and with them. He comes so near to them that he actually feels their pains and their sorrows when these are their experiences. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews encourages the children of God to be steadfast in their profession of faith because they “have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,” and he continues, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:14–15. Note those significant words, “like as we are.” No one knows and understands the varied experiences of his people better than the blessed Saviour himself. Dear believer, this great high priest is your intercessor who lives to intercede on your behalf before the throne of God. He is so well qualified to speak for you because of his experiences in our humanity. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. In a body like ours, though without sin, he experienced hunger, weariness, rejection, disappointment with men, false accusations, with physical and verbal abuse, culminating in the cruel death of the cross. Our blessed Saviour had wide and deep experience of human life in this world of ours. His knowledge of life is not mere theory but the result of real experience. Being eternally God, he knew all things, but in his holy humanity, he learned obedience “by the things which he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8. He humbly submitted to suffering to such an extent that he was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” Isaiah 53:3. This was so that he could sympathize with his suffering and fainting people, as we are reminded: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted,” Hebrews 2:18.

Consider the authority with which our Redeemer speaks on behalf of his people, arising from his human experience combined with his eternal deity. He is the “Godman” intercessor who cannot and will not fail to maintain a glorious, unbreakable union between a Holy God and guilty yet justified sinners who are reconciled to God through the death of the cross. The knowledge of this fact encourages and enables believers to press on despite all difficulties towards their eternal heavenly home. God’s dear people are exhorted to run the race of faith while keeping their eyes fixed upon Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1–2. If we keep our eyes upon Jesus where he presently is, then we must see him as the glorified and exalted Christ at God’s right hand. The eye of faith sees him, while the ear of faith hears him as he lives, making intercession on behalf of his people for whom he died and shed his blood. None can possibly perish for whom he intercedes. Even if we think our prayers are poor, we know from the Saviour’s own words in John 11:41–42 that he is always heard by his Father. When all the poor struggling pilgrims finally finish their earthly race and are received by their Redeemer into glory in answer to his prayer, “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am,” John 17:24, then with exceeding great joy, he will say as he looks upon his glorious church, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” Christ Jesus, our Saviour, was heard when he cried from the cross. His blood pleads for the justification of all whom the Father gave to him, and now, in glory, he continues his ministry of intercession, guaranteeing their final triumph and glorification.

G. G. Hutton.