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“He ever maketh intercession for us” (Heb 7:25). We are constantly upheld in perfectness by the power of the intercession of the Lord Jesus. It is this that ever keeps us in the right place before our Father, however infirm or mistaken in our walk here. The blessedness of the ministry of Him Who ministers for us in the true Tabernacle is, that it is entirely independent of us. Our conscious enjoyment of it will depend indeed on our walk, on our self-judgment (1Co 11:31), on many things; but the ministry itself depends alone upon our High Priest.
He is a faithful minister ever performing His functions in a manner well-pleasing to the Father, whether our souls are realizing the value of what He is doing or not. Every saint is upheld by the intercession of the Lord Jesus, even in one’s most thoughtless mood. Advocacy is part of the work of grace—grace that provides for the putting away our every sin, and aiding our every infirmity, and bearing our waywardness, in order that we may never be out of the very presence of our Father.
Hence the moment the conscience of a careless saint is re-awakened, he may find full and instant access to his Father, because though he has failed, the Minister of the Sanctuary has not. However we may fail therefore, the resources of grace can never fail; for faith reaches out to the Father and to His provisions of grace in our Lord Jesus over every failure. If there be one deeper anguish of soul than another, it surely must be for a saint to become conscious of sin (again, continuous self-discernment, e.g. judgment—NC), yet to be without faith to look to the Father’s gracious provision to meet it; but the Lord Jesus, as with Peter, prays that our “faith fails not” (concerning our walk, the exercise of faith is commensurate with our maturity in it, but concerning our redemption it is complete, being dependent upon its “Author and Finisher,” which is an “irrevocable gift” (Rom 11:29—NC).
His present ministry on our behalf in heaven is based upon the same abundant grace which marked His care of His disciples on earth. His own perception of His servant’s peril had moved the gracious Lord to pray for him, hence He could tell Peter of his danger (danger of delaying growth, but not hindering salvation—NC). His present intercession above forms the same divine estimate of our necessities, our difficulties and our dangers; things to which we are so often and so largely insensible. Yes, He knows how, amidst all these things, we appear in the eye of the Father Himself; and He ever ministers on our behalf according to the requirements of that searching eye.
Thus we are preserved without spot (Eph 5:27) before our Father, unfailingly maintained in the Sanctuary itself in the fragrant perfectness and acceptance of His Beloved (Eph 1:6). It is indeed most blessed for us that there is a ministry for us which separates the precious from the vile, and which orders all according to our Father. Our Great High Priest thus ministers for us. He takes up that, which to us seemed so clogged with infirmity and mingled with impurity, that we can discern no preciousness in it, and separating the precious from the vile He offers what is really of the Spirit in the full value of His own offering.
If any soul is awakened to the desire of serving the Lord, what sorrow they have found in having to learn the wretched imperfectness of all that which they attempt (of themselves—NC)! But if thus we are oftentimes dispirited and ready to “grow weary in well doing,” let us remember this present ministration of the Lord Jesus for us. Oh, if it were not for this ministry on high, how could we read the words, “To do good and to communicate forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb 13:16)!
- J N Darby