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§  1. Christ our Intercessor.

Under the old dispensation the High Priest, after having offered sacrifices for sin in the outer court, was directed, on the day of atonement, to take the blood of the victims and a censer with burning incense, and to enter within the veil, and there present the blood before God, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat. In like manner, as we are taught by the Apostle, Christ, having offered Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, has passed through the heavens, there to appear before God in our behalf. He is, therefore, said to be the minister of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man. His priestly office is now exercised in heaven, where he ever lives to intercede for us.

This work of Christ is expressed in Scripture, —

1. By saying that He appears before God for us. Hebrews ix. 24. The word used is ἐμφανισθῆναι = ἐμφανίζειν ἑαυτόν τινι. Christ presents Himself before God as our representative. His perfect manhood, his official character, and his finished work, plead for us before the throne of God. All that the Son of God as incarnate is, and all that He did on earth, He is, and did for us; so that God can regard us with all the favour which is due to Him. His presence, therefore, is a perpetual and prevailing intercession with God in behalf of his people, and secures for them all the benefits of his redemption.

2. His intercession is expressed by saying that He draws near to God on our behalf. The word used is ἐντυγχάνειν, to meet with, to talk with. To meet, or approach one for (ὑπέρ) another, is to intercede in his behalf. (Romans viii. 34; Hebrews vii. 25.) To meet one against (κατά) another is to intercede against him. (Romans xi. 2.) According to the Scriptures, and speaking after the manner of men, Christ speaks to God in our behalf; or, as it is expressed in John xvii. 9, He prays for us.

3. Christ is called our Paraclete, παράκλητος. This word is translated advocate in 1 John ii. 1, and comforter in John xiv. 16; 593xv. 26; xvi. 7. Neither translation expresses its full meaning. It signifies invoked, called upon for help. The Paraclete is, therefore, in the comprehensive sense of the word, a helper, whatever may be the specific nature of the aid afforded. As, however, the guilty, the ignorant, the friendless, when arraigned before a tribunal of justice, need above all things an advocate; one who will undertake their cause; present a plea in their behalf; and use all his influence to secure their acquittal; it is in this sense especially that Christ is set forth as our παράκλητος. He is our advocate. He appears at the bar of God for us. He pleads our cause. He presents his work of obedience and suffering as the ground of our justification. He exerts his influence, the influence of his character as the Son of God in whom the Father is ever well pleased, and whom He heareth always, as well as the influence due to Him in virtue of the covenant of redemption, and the perfect fulfilment of its conditions, to secure for his people all the good they need. It is, therefore, especially in passages which speak of justification, and of judicial process, that Christ’s intercession is brought into view. (See Romans viii. 34; 1 John ii. 1.)

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