Hebrews 7:25

Sermon preached on August 06, 2017 by Laurence W. Veinott. © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Other sermons can be found at http://www.cantonnewlife.org/.

Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

Sometimes a person that needs or wants something will approach an intermediary and ask them to ask someone else on their behalf. They do this because they think that they will more likely get their request as the intermediary they pick is someone who is close to the person who can grant their request. We see this in the book of 1 Kings. After King David died David's son Adonijah, the son of Haggith approached Bathsheba. He asked Bathsheba to approach King Solomon and ask for Abishag the Shunammite as his wife. When Bathsheba went to Solomon she said,

"I have one small request
to make of you," she said.
'Do not refuse me.' "

The king replied,

"Make it, my mother;
I will not refuse you."

Solomon was so close to his mother that he said he would not refuse her request. But when Bathsheba told Solomon what she wanted he realized what Adonijah was trying to do—to take the kingdom from him. Solomon said to her, (1 Kings 2:22

"Why do you request
Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah?
You might as well request
the kingdom for him—after all,
he is my older brother…"

Solomon then ordered that Adonijah be put to death that very day.

Bathsheba's intercession didn't work. Solomon would have granted his mother almost anything—but there were some things that he would not grant her.

Isn't it wonderful that we have a high priest who is totally successful in His intercession for us? That's who we have in Jesus. In John 11:41-42, just before Jesus called Lazarus out of his tomb, Jesus said to the Father,

I thank you that you have heard me.
I knew that you always hear me,
but I said this for the benefit
of the people standing here, that
they may believe that you sent me."

This morning we're going to look at this wonderful topic of Jesus' intercession on our behalf. This is a doctrine that should give us hope and confidence about the future, it should comfort our hearts and give us great joy. For what our text tells Christians is that

Jesus ever lives to intercede for you.

Hebrews 7:25 says,

"Therefore he is able to save completely
those who come to God through him,
because he always lives
to intercede for them."

Our text refers to Christ's heavenly intercession on our behalf. This intercession is part of Christ's heavenly priestly activity. (John Murray, Collected Works, vol. 1, p. 45) Christ's heavenly ministry is more than intercession. He is our representative there. He is the Mediator of the new Covenant. When He ascended into heaven He entered the Most Holy Place on the basis of His blood, His perfect work. He offered for all time one sacrifice. Then He sat down at the right hand of God. That and other things are all part of His heavenly priestly activity. His intercession for us His people is part of His work there.

What does it mean when it says that Christ intercedes for us? A good starting place would be to look at Jesus' intercession for His people while He was on earth. In Luke 22:32 Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to have him, to sift him as wheat. He continued,

"But I have prayed for you,
that your faith may not fail."

Jesus asked the Father that Peter's faith would not fail. Jesus was Peter's advocate. He asked on Peter's behalf. That's the essence of what it means to intercede. We have another example of Jesus' intercession while He was on earth in John 17. That chapter contains the great high priestly prayer of Jesus. One of the things that Jesus does is pray for His disciples. Verse 15 gives us one of His petitions. Jesus said,

"My prayer is not that you
take them out of the world
but that you protect them
from the evil one."

The devil goes around like a roaring lion seeking to devour people. But Jesus intercedes for us. He protects us. Satan may ravage us. But he will not succeed in his purpose. He will not destroy us.

Verse 24 of John 17 contains another petition on behalf of His people. Jesus said,

"Father, I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
and to see my glory,
the glory you have given me…"

Jesus intercedes for us and ensures that we will be with Him in glory. He wants us to see His glory and His intercession will ensure that we will see and enjoy it.

John Murray says that these intercessions of our Lord during the days of his time on earth, (p. 54)

"provide us with some index to the content of his intercession at the right hand of God… Petitions more appropriate to the need of the people of God in the world could not be conceived of, and these surely indicate the lines along which the heavenly intercession proceeds."

William L. Lane writes, (Hebrews 1–8, WBC 47A; p.190)

"With his exaltation to heaven, Jesus became the permanent intercessor for his people. His ministry involves an active advocatory role in the presence of God on behalf of the oppressed… The direct result of his intercessory activity is the sustaining of the people and the securing of all that is necessary to the eschatological salvation…"

1 John 2:1 is helpful here in that it gives us an example of Jesus' heavenly intercession. John wrote,

"if anybody does sin,
we have one who speaks
to the Father in our defense—
Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."

Jesus intercedes for us when we sin. Even after we have gone astray, Jesus intercedes for us.

Jesus is our advocate with the Father. A advocate is, (Murray, p. 46)

"the person who is called to help, to plead, to comfort, to support. So Jesus in heaven is the pleader, the helper, the comforter of those who come to God through him."

Christian, anything you need for our protection, anything you need for your eternal salvation—Jesus ensures you will have it. John Murray writes, (p. 55)

"the intercession of Christ brings within its scope all that is necessary to salvation in the fullest extent of its consummated perfection. This is to say that the intercession covers the whole range of what is requisite to and of what is realized in the eschatological salvation. The intercession of Christ is interposed to meet every need of the believer. No grace bestowed, no blessing enjoyed, no benefit received can be removed from the scope of the intercession, and the intercession is the guarantee that every exigency will be met by its efficacy. The security of salvation is bound up with his intercession and outside of his intercession we must say that there is no salvation."

The second thing that we should see from our text is that

Jesus' intercession is based on His work,—his dying for us, his resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven.

John Murray writes, (Collected Works, Vol. 1, p. 56)

"The intercession is based upon the atonement."

This is clear from Romans 8:34 which is the other passage that speaks directly of Christ's heavenly intercession on our behalf. It says,

"Who is he that condemns?
Christ Jesus, who died—
more than that,
who was raised to life—
is at the right hand of God
and is also interceding for us."

Christ died. He rose from the dead. He is at the right hand of God. These things are the basis of His intercession. John Murray writes, (p. 54-55)

"Whether the four data with reference to Christ—his death, resurrection, exalted state, and intercession—are the answer to the question, 'who is he who condemns?', which precedes, or to the question 'who shall separate us from the love of Christ?', which follows, it is obvious that the intercession of Christ is coordinated with the death, resurrection, and exalted glory as that which insures the vindication, on the one alternative, or the security, on the other alternative, of the people of God."

The context of Hebrews 7 confirms this. Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews tells us that Jesus died, (He tasted death for every man. Hebrews 2:9) rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He entered the heavenly sanctuary on the basis of His own blood. After making atonement for sin He sat down at the right hand of God. He lives forever so He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him.

This means that

Christ is always heard.

This is why Jesus is always heard. He completed His mission perfectly. The Father sent Him and Jesus completed the great work of dying for our sins and living a perfect life for us. The Father is perfectly and fully satisfied with the work of the Son. When the Son asks for something on behalf of His people the Father complies. He complies not because He is coerced but because the Son worked salvation, has fulfilled the purpose for which the Father sent Him.

What comfort you ought to take in that. How safe you are in Jesus. Charles Hodge says of Christ's intercession, (Romans, p. 290)

"How complete then, the security of those for whom he pleads!"

What does this mean for us?

First, this means that

we should depend solely on Jesus' intercession.

In 1 Timothy 2:5 the apostle Paul wrote,

"For there is one God and
one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,"

There is only one mediator between God and man. I know that some people believe that there are various saints that can help you in certain situations. They will tell you that St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. They will tell you that you can pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and that she can intercede for you.

But none of that is true.

You have Jesus to intercede for you. Do you need St. Christopher? Do you need Mary? No. Do they know your needs? The Bible gives us no indication that they do. Can they hear you? The Bible gives us no indication of that either. Can they help you? The Bible gives us no indication of that.

The great truth is that you don't need them. Jesus is enough. He is your perfect intercessor.

Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. He is the One whose job in heaven is to intercede for you. Hebrews 4:16 tells us,

"Let us then approach
the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help us
in our time of need."

Why should we have such confidence? The two verses just before it say, (verses 14–15)

"Therefore, since we have
a great high priest
who has gone through the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold firmly
to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses,
but we have one who
has been tempted in every way,
just as we are—
yet was without sin."

It's all about Jesus. It's all about Him being in heaven to help us, to intercede for us. Philip Hughes writes, (Hebrews p. 270)

"To rely upon angels or saints or any other finite beings for their intercessions is not only futile; it also betrays a failure of confidence in the adequacy of Christ as our intercessor, and it is to honor the creature rather than him who is our Creator and Redeemer…"

The second lesson we should draw from our text is that

you should understand this intercession as relating to you as an individual.

Our text says that Christ always lives,

"to intercede for them."

That's us. That's you.

Christ's intercession is like the Spirit's intercession with our prayers. Romans 8:26–27 says,

"In the same way,
the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know
what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groans that words cannot express.
And he who searches our hearts
knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes
for the saints
in accordance with God's will."

John Murray says of the heavenly intercession of Christ in Romans 8:34- 'for us', (Romans p. 330)

"Intercession must have regard to the distinctive situation of each individual." "every need of the believer and every grace requisite to consummate his redemption are brought within the scope of Christ's intercession."

It's very personal. Christ's intercession has to do with your needs, your situation, the danger that you are in.

Charles Hodge, (Romans, p. 290)

"who acts as our advocate, pleads our cause before God, presents those considerations which secure for us pardon and the continued supply of the divine grace."

You should take great comfort in that. Christ's intercession has regard for you.


you should praise God for Christ's intercession for you.

What a friend you have in Jesus. He is so committed to you. He is committed to you when you are going astray. How can that be? We go astray so much. in Romans 1 we read how God sinners gave themselves over to sin and God then gave them over to it. But Jesus doesn't give you over to your sins. Why does He not give you over? It is because you are better than others? No. It's because of His love. We are unworthy recipients of His love. Lamentations 3:22–23 says,

"Because of the Lord's great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."

Instead of giving you over He intercedes for you. That's amazing. Instead of giving you over He is so committed to you that He will ensure that you receive every grace that you need to persevere. His intercession for you shows you His everlasting love for you, His everlasting faithfulness.

If you're not a Christian you should realize that

you need Christ's intercession.

Your sins call out for punishment. Yet at the present time you have no one to intercede for you. The devil is seeking to cast you into hell and there is no one to stop him except Jesus. You need Jesus. Go to Him today.