Hi, all. It’s a gray, windy day here in Johnstown (akin to my Seattle days, ah), and I unfortunately have finished up the last bit of coffee in my mug as I write this. It was my favorite coffee from a friend who operates a coffee business in the Northwest, in my favorite mug from one of my favorite humans (maybe you’ve heard of him.. Josiah Smith?). And while the polishing off of coffee is an unfortunate thing — all the coffee aficionados said amen — it’s a blessed way to start the morning!
Since I was a youngster, my mom had our family memorize Bible verses, up to several a week, which was excruciating as a child but a source of deep thankfulness for me as an adult. And I have gotten back into this habit and carry around with me everywhere a tattered stack of index cards with Bible verses that my heart needs to learn.
One of those verses, although I know it well, I like to keep putting on the front burner because of its sheer wonder and beauty.
Hebrews 7:25 says, “[Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”
Did you catch that? Let’s break it down.
1. We can only come to God the Father through Jesus Christ.
Let’s take a step back for context. In this piece of the letter to the Hebrew church, the author emphasizes our need for a go-between, a mediator between God and man. Man could not directly approach God, else he would die! In the Old Testament, this was a very, very sacred role for someone called a High Priest, and the only way for someone in the Old Testament to interact with God (with few exceptions) was to first go through this High Priest. According to the Law, once the High Priest passed away, a new High Priest was appointed.
Enter Jesus. Jesus is our High Priest (elsewhere in Hebrews, namely 2:17 and 4:14), which means that we can only approach God the Father through Jesus. Let me say that one more time. No one can enter into relationship with God and enjoy everlasting life unless they go through Jesus Christ. It’s not through Mohammed, through good deeds, through visiting some other earthly priest. And this never changes, because Jesus will not ever die (7:23-24); where death prevented earthly men from permanently holding this position, Jesus lives forever! He is forever our High Priest, and forever the only way to God!
Jesus says of Himself in John 14:6, “I am the Way; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
2. Jesus is working everything out for our good!
The original verse declares that Jesus ‘always lives to intercede for [us],’ and intercession is an old-fashioned term rich with relevant meaning. It means that Jesus is consistently praying for us — but not a passive, timid inquiry of God… more like passionate, confident petitioning of God! The word ‘intercession’ is usually associated with warfare — Jesus is warring against the domain of darkness on our behalf!
The Word of God reassures us that God knows what we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8) and that God never sleeps or needs a break (Psalm 127:2)! It is an empowered and liberated life that understands Jesus is taking care of us! He knows full well our weakness and our delights, and He is partnering with the Father to set us up for the win.
Of course this doesn’t substitute our need to pray, as Jesus teaches that we should, but it emphasizes a special rest we can enter into through Christ. Even when you’re finished praying, Jesus continues to pray for your needs and for your victory. He has arranged everything with the Father so that all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28)!
3. Jesus wants to save you completely!
Hebrews 7:25 begins with that profound phrasing: He is able to save completely! Certainly this refers to our need for spiritual salvation. Our offenses against God rendered us undeniably spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1), quickly en route to eternal separation from Him in hell (Revelation 20:15), but it is the finished work of Jesus to restore prodigals back to right relationship with the Father and welcome them into everlasting life (John 3:16).
I also believe, though, that “Jesus saving us completely” spills over into every aspect of our lives. Jesus wants to save us from sickness, from debt, from lack, from addiction. Jesus wants to completely save us!
Recently I read (or imagined?) that if the Gospel you preach is not accompanied by ‘signs and wonders’ then it is not the Gospel of Jesus — and I wholeheartedly agree with that. Jesus has never left the miracle business, and He enthusiastically wants to work wonders in your life! What is it you need saving from? Suicidal tendencies? Debilitating fear? A spirit of confusion? Childlessness? The ruthless slave-master called financial debt? Friend, hear me, hear me, hear me… Jesus is able to save you. It could be chemically impossible, scientifically improbable, and pragmatically preposterous — but that’s exactly the situation Jesus is attracted to. The God who birthed the universe with His creative breath and is altogether unfamiliar with defeat wants to set you free and proclaim ‘the year of His favor’ over you. Let Him. Receive His healing. Receive His blessing.
(I plan to blog more about why supernatural signs and wonders today are such an essential part of Christianity, but for now, check out a previous blog of mine that may build your faith!)
Anyway, I pray this has been an encouragement to you… Feel free to drop me a line in the comments below.