Christ Pleading Before His Father
This week a listener emailed me a question she had after reading a statement from another Christian author. She asks, “I listen to your lesson discussion on the internet and am so amazed and blessed by it. However,
here we have a quotation where Jesus is pleading for us before the Father – can you clarify that for me?”
Statement from a Christian author:
“Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol and to put away every darling sin. Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father’s throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you.” God’s Amazing Grace page 83.
This question is one with which many people struggle and it is a very important question to explore because it goes directly to the kind of Person we believe God to be. Before I get into the specifics of the quote cited, let’s lay some groundwork to build upon.
Can we agree that whatever any Christian author writes if the position presented is to be valued, it will not contradict the Bible? Another way to say this is, whatever the author means by the statement cited it must be understood in light of the Bible, interpreted through the Bible and, in order to be valuable, will be in harmony with the Bible. Would you agree?
So let’s look at some Biblical texts first:
John 16:25,26 Jesus is speaking: “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you…”
Notice that Jesus says He will not pray to the Father for us because the Father Himself loves us. Therefore, there is no need for Christ to do this.
Romans 8:31-34 “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 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.”
Notice that God is for us, God is the one who justifies us and that Christ is also, as in, in addition to the Father, interceding for us. And in verse 24 of chapter 8 the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, thus we have the entire Godhead unified in Their intercessions for us.
2 Cor 5:19 “God was in the Son reconciling the world unto himself.”
Notice again it was God doing the work through His Son. The idea that one member of the Godhead needs to plead to another member of the Godhead is not stated in the Bible.
Then what about the quotation sent?
The author says, “Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father’s throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you.”
Does the author say that Jesus is pleading to the Father or before the Father, in other words in front of the Father, in the Father’s view, that Christ is pleading while the Father watches and oversees? The author isn’t saying that Christ is pleading to the Father, just that whatever work Christ is doing in heaven is being done before the Father, with the Father’s oversight, approval, blessing, possibly even the Father’s encouragement, “Yes Son, you’re doing a great job. Keep it up.” But the author doesn’t state to whom Christ is pleading. For that we have to go back to the Bible:
This is Jesus speaking to His disciples. Read carefully what He is telling them:
John 16:7-15 “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
Notice that Christ had much He wanted to tell His followers, but they couldn’t understand, so He was going to heaven and sending the Holy Spirit to them. Notice also, the Holy Spirit would not speak on His own, but only what He hears and He takes what is Christ’s and makes it known to us.
So putting it all together, Christ is before the Father pleading to you and me calling for us to repent, to turn back, to surrender our hearts to Him. He pleads, “I died for you, I have given my blood for you, don’t you see how much I love you.” And the Holy Spirit takes His pleadings and communicates them to us. All of this is happening before the Father. Thus the Bible is true. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all interceding for us and we have no need for Christ to plead to the Father for us, yet before the Father, Christ is pleading, pleading to you and me to turn back to Him and be eternally healed.