Jesus said: “Simon, Simon: Satan has desired you, that he might sift you like wheat, BUT… I HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU that your faith fail not.” Luke 22:31-32a
We often speak of Jesus as our Savior. That is a word whose possibilities we can never fully understand or exhaust. He also has other titles, which signify other roles He occupies. Other duties He performs for us.
When He tells Simon that He’s praying for Him, Jesus is performing another function in addition to being “Savior.” In Scripture, He is referred to as our “Intercessor,” our “Mediator” or “Advocate.” You’d be wise to look further into the significance of these positions on your own, but I’m going to give it a “shot.” Hope it will trigger your interest and let’s see what you dig up.
Something very fundamental rests here. Please think about the ideas prayerfully, carefully, and then look those words up in your dictionary. If you have a Dictionary of the Bible, that will give you even more insight into the terms and their use in Scripture.
“Advocate” is a legal term. You might even picture it as an attorney. Suppose I get into trouble, and I’m worried. The Police caught me dead to rights in a matter and I have no defense. I’m guilty. Got caught red-handed. His honor is in court every day, but I’m not. I’m scared stiff, as a matter of fact. How am I going to pay the fine? Reckon I’ll have to go to jail. It was bad enough the night I saw that blinding, whirling blue light and almost swallowed my Adam’s apple when the siren started screaming like a banshee. . . Now, this. I’m scared.
That isn’t intended to trivialize the importance of what I’m trying to say.
In reality, I’m often convicted of sin and stand unarmed and without resources in the presence of His Sovereign Majesty, the Great God of the Universe! And, it is as if my Defense Attorney is Jesus. He pleads my case. He approaches His Father in my behalf… even offers to accept the penalty Himself. . . and, by faith I can be free and fully forgiven forever! My Savior has not only died for me. He’s risen, returned, and when necessary He “prays for me.” Pleads my case. My “Friend who sticks closer than a brother” also is my “mediator,” my “intercessor,” my “advocate!”
That sounds incredible! Too good to be true! And now I can understand. That is precisely why the whole truth about Christ’s redemptive effort is called: THE GOSPEL! The GOOD NEWS. Can you ever find or invent a better word in the English language??!! In any language?
Some of the “guys” might relate to this idea in another way: Let me use an illustration from sports. I was never a great athlete; but enjoyed my brief, insignificant stint in the sports as much as any great athlete who ever played any sport. Back in my day, we had none of the sophisticated padding the bone crushers use today. At first, we had leather helmets with no face masks. When I first “burst upon the sporting scene,” we ran from an old-fashioned single-wing formation. None of this fancy-dancy, new-fangled quarterback and the T formation. I was a linebacker on defense and played blocking back when our team had the ball. Believe me, it was not a glamorous position and in the years I played varsity, I only scored one touchdown. In the last game of my last year in high school! I was supposed to lead interference for my teammate who had the football. I was simply a blocker for the other running backs. . . the guys who scored the touchdowns. And got the credit and their names in the paper. And had the cheerleaders and the crowd waving pom poms and yelling themselves hoarse.
Now this isn’t “church talk.” No haloes or angel wings, no stained glass windows, or organ music and lighted candles in the background. If you think about it, Jesus had none of that either. Ever. He probably never saw a beautifully velvet upholstered pew or kneelng bench. Or a grand pipe organ. He turned to very ordinary, common things that people saw, were familiar with, understood and used every day to make His point. And did He ever make His point! And people understood, and loved Him.
And followed Him!
If you really consider everything He’s done for you, and what He continues to do for you. . . if that reality really dawns upon you,. . . you can understand why one of the poets could only refer to His activity as “Amazing Grace.” And why another was driven to conclude: “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life. My soul. My all!”