"Are the African children getting ready for bed?" my daughter Kody poses her ritual question, giggling at the thought of people around the world wearing their pajamas while she eats her lunch. "
Yes," I answer. "And while you’re getting ready for bed tonight, they will be starting a whole new day."
Discussing what people around the world are doing right now has been a favorite topic at our house for months. But have you ever stopped to consider what Jesus is doing right now? I’ve asked several people this question recently and their expressions ranged from startled to thoughtful and even perplexed.
What is Jesus doing right now?
On Our Behalf
The Bible tells us after Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven where He sat down at the right hand of God. The "right hand of God" indicates a place of authority and power. And from that exalted seat our Savior is working on our behalf.
Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised —who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (Rom. 8:34).
Interceding isn't a word we use often. It means to pray for someone, to stand up for somebody else. There is even a sense of begging or pleading on someone else's behalf. Jesus is interceding for us. He is praying to His Father . . . about us. God the Son talks to God the Father . . . about us.
Jesus stands up . . . for us. He pleads . . . for us. Does this thought make you want to pause and ponder? I don't feel I can fully wrap my mind around what this means. But it is what Scripture says.
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them (Heb. 7:25).
We know our sin has separated us from God. We know Jesus took the punishment for our sin. We know He was separated from His Father while He hung on the cross for us. We know He died for us. And now He lives for us as well. He has returned to His Father's side, to His throne in heaven, and He is still thinking of us. He is seeking our good. He is speaking of us to God.
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf (Heb. 9:24).
When We Fail
As believers in our Lord Jesus, we are called to live holy lives. But we fail. I fail. Day after day I fail to be holy as my God is holy. And for every time I fail, my Savior intercedes for me.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).
Angry hot words often fly from my heart swollen with selfishness. Finding my target, they pierce and wound the ones I am called to love more than life itself. And I fail. What does Jesus say to the Father in my defense? Does He mention how I remembered to read my Bible this morning. Does He search through the past weeks looking for a kind word I might have spoken to hold up in my defense?
No. Thank God, no. Jesus does not use my own actions to defend me. He uses His. He doesn't talk about what I have done right. He reminds God of all He has done right.
Jesus stood quietly as angry men hurled false accusations against Him. Lies filled the air, but no truth left His lips. In the presence of Pilate, the one man who now stood between Him and the cross, Jesus refused to plead His innocence. Amazed by His silence, Pilate couldn't understand. He didn't see the purpose. He didn't know the plan.
Jesus was silent before His accusers so He could silence our accuser forever (Rev. 12:10). He refused to speak of His perfect life to Pilate so He could speak to God about the perfect life He lived for me. He wouldn't defend His innocence so He could die and bear the punishment of my sin. Now before God, He pleads my innocence. And I am "holy and blameless before him" (Eph. 1:4) because my Savior intercedes for me.
We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
What an awesome love He has. To live for us. To die for us. To intercede for us forever. Doesn't it make your gloriously forgiven heart overflow with love?
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8–9).