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  • Dr. Roger D Duke

Jesus: “He Ever Liveth to Intercede” From the Pen of John A. Broadus




“He Ever Liveth to Intercede” [1]


Scripture Portion


Wherefor also he is able to the uttermost them than draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. —Hebrews 7: 25.


My brethren, it is just such a Saviour [sic] that we need. From the first moment when we approach God through him, onward through life, and in certain just sense onward without end, we continually need God’s merch and grace for the Savour’s sake. If we dwell on this, we shall be better prepared to rejoice that our great High Priest ever lives to intercede for us, and thus can complete our salvation.

[First] We are tempted. And what hope have we of conquering temptation, save “through him that loved us?” Remember what our Lord said to his disciples, with regard to the sore temptations that would soon befall them: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not.” As Satan is described as seeking permission from the Sovereign Ruler, without whose permission all his might and his malice are powerless, to [also] tempt Job with peculiar trial, in the hope that he could bring him to renounce the Lord, so here as to the disciples. “Satan asked to have you.” . . . Jesus sifts in order to separate the precious from the vile, and preserve the pure wheat for the garner of heaven. And often what Satan meant as a sifting for evil is overruled by the stronger power so as to be for good. . ..

[Second] But many times, sad as is the confession, we yield to temptation, we sin; and “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Must we then despair? Must the hopes we had cherished be abandoned, and this new sin be the terror of the souls? Listen! The apostle John wrote an Epistle for the express purpose of restraining his brethren from sin; yet he does not cut off those who are conscious they have sinned from the hope of forgiveness and salvation. He says: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” . . . So, Jesus is our Advocate. . .. Our advocate does not argue that we are innocent, but confessing our guilt, pleads for mercy to us, and he does not present our merits as a reason why mercy should be shown us, but his merits. “He is the propitiation for our sins.” His atoning death does, as it were, render God’s propitious, or favorable to sinners. . ..

[Third] [There is another] . . . respect in which is seen our need for our Lord’s perpetual intercession. We make such slow progress in attaining holiness—holiness, which is the noblest thing men can aspire to—holiness, “without which no man shall see the Lord,” Many a Christian, as he sorrowfully sees how often he yields to temptation, how his character breaks down afresh where he thought it had grown most firm, is at times inclined to think it possible that he should ever become really holy. But remember how Jesus prayed the night before his atoning death, “Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.” “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” Think you that he, who ever lives to intercede for his people, does not still pray this prayer, that they might be sanctified and kept from the evil? Do you doubt that he prays for them still, as he did when on earth? His people’s wants have not changed, and as for him, he is “the same yesterday and to-day and forever. . ..”

[Fourth] When we are in sorrow, it is a blessed thing that Jesus ever lives to pray for us. He was himself while on earth, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” And he showed the truest, tenderest sympathy with the sorrows of others. Who does not think at once of that touching scene at Bethany? “Jesus wept,” in affliction for the departed, in sympathy with the bereaved. And presently, standing by the tomb, he said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” Then he had been praying, asking, that he might be able to raise Lazarus from the dead. We do not expect him now to pray for miracles may be wrought in behalf of the bereaved. We do not expect him now to give back the buried brother to his sisters, or to the widowed mother her only son. But shall it not be a consolation to us all in our afflictions, to feel assured that he now intercedes for us; that now, too, the Father heard him that by the gracious influences of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, this affliction shall work for us glory. . .?

[Fifth] When we come to die—he is “alive forevermore.” One of his servants, when near to death, saw “heaven opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God,” where he represents and intercedes for his people. And so, departing he committed his spirit to him, as not exalted and glorious, and ready to receive it. And so, amid all the cruel injustice and suffering, he was calm and forgiving. And so, though they were stoning him to death, “he fell asleep.” O, whenever you are called to die, brother, and however, whether among loving friends in your pleasant home, or far away in loneliness and want, whether ample forewarning or in suddenness of a moment, think of your interceding Saviour standing on the right hand of God, and say, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” and you too shall fall asleep. . ..

[Sixth] Even this is not the end of his work for this people. There shall be a “redemption of the body.” Many have been sad in the last twenty years, because the bodies of their loved ones lie so far away, lie perhaps undistinguished among the huge masses of unnamed dead. But he who received the departing spirit to himself will also care for the moldering body. His resurrection is a pledge of the glorious resurrection of his people. “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who through Jesus have fallen asleep, will God bring with him.” “Who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory.” Then, the spirit reunited with the risen and glorified body, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

[1] John A. Broadus, “He Ever Liveth to Intercede” in Sermons and Addresses (Philadelphia: H.M. Wharton & Co., 1886), 70-83. [1]


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