Hebrews 7:25 – Jesus IS the Heavenly Intercession

There is a common understanding of Hebrews 7:25 that gives the impression that Jesus is not at rest, seated on the throne on high after His resurrection, but rather is engaged in eternal intercession, praying to the Father, more or less pleading for humanity, in the eternal state, forever and ever. This is very unfortunate.

This understanding also gives rise to the idea that God is still looking for someone in the earth to intercede and “make up the hedge, and stand in the gap:” to plead with God along with Jesus who is pleading in heaven, to . . . basically . . .  not wipe us all out in one way or the other. This too, is very unfortunate.

In the KJV the verse reads:

Wherefore he is able also to save to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We have to remember the historical context and grid of understanding that the KJV translators brought with them in regard to “Christian practices” such as prayer. Think Church of Rome minus the Pope. Think: strong performance, works, duty orientation.

The phrase “to make” is added by the English translators, and is most unfortunate, as it gives the impression of something yet undone, as if some sort of prayer is going on by Jesus, interceding as if His finished-work sacrifice really wasn’t enough to realize all of God’s longing in and for humanity.

Some very literal readings could go like this:

He is able, the ones coming through Him, to God, always living for the purpose of pleading for them.

Or

He is able the ones coming, to and through him to God, always living for the appeal on behalf of them.

The significant point (without getting bogged down in a bunch of Greek technical stuff) is, His eternal life, His resurrection life, is what is doing the appealing, pleading, etc., not his prayer. Christ in resurrection IS the intercession.

Only God has eternal life. It’s a quality of His existence, His Deity. It is His to share and give, and His to withhold. There is now, not only at the center of the universe, but in union in the Godhead, at the right hand of the Father, a resurrected God-Man. There’s a representative man, present not only “before God” in some petitionary mode. But “in God” in perfect union. He is there as a representative man, vivified by God’s very own eternal life.

The intercession of Hebrews 7:25 is not something we do, you do, I do, or Jesus does. No, the intercession is God’s own life in a man. He has found His rest in the Man he was looking for in Isa. 66:2.  That is the intercession. That is the “pleading.”  That is the rest. God need look no further than Himself in Christ-Jesus. The Sabbath of Genesis 1-3, has come full circle. God took humanity out of the question when he made a covenant with Abraham (he was asleep). He made a covenant with Himself (Heb. 6), and that covenant has come full circle . . . His own rest . . . in a man.

This gives substance and meaning to all the so-called  “positional” truths (in Him/in us, united with Him, seated with Him, etc. )  of the New Testament. They are not “positional” at all. They are ultimate reality truths. Too often, teachers and theologians throw the term “positional truths” around and it is code for: not real, doesn’t work, and you are not good enough yet.

Because of our union with Him (John 14:3 – that where I am you may be also, is not talking about heaven. It is talking about oneness in the bosom of Father on the throne in the universe) you and I are in that place, also. United with Him by the indwelling Spirit of sonship. We are not “absorbed into deity,” changed into “God” or “gods.” However, they that are joined to the Lord are one Spirit. Our union with a resurrected God-Man, by the Spirit, has profound implications.

You and I, and every other believer, are the Sabbath of God in Him. He finds His rest in us, in Christ.  You and I and every other believer are the intercession of God.  The church, the bride, you and I, are the living sacrifice of Romans 12:1 (literally: the worship, the “liturgy” – meaning “the work done on behalf of the people,” the intercession) for the world. My literal presence and being in the world, in Christ, is the intercession.  My “prayer life” is simply the expression of the realities of what I am in Him.  I can’t get any closer to God than: “seated with Him in heavenly places.”  Our prayer and intercession is praying out from heaven to earth, not from earth to heaven. We are the executors of the last will and testament of a resurrected God-Man who is seated at the throne of the universe. He is seated, we do the praying. However, New Testament intercession is more than the disciplines of my prayer time. It is my very life.

This is New Testament priesthood.

I believe this is linked directly with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In my opinion this has very little to do with speaking in tongues, but rather, is the outpouring of Jesus’ ascension and glorification enthronement/anointing of His investiture as King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek (it would take too long to unpack the significance of Psalm 2/Psalm 110 being the foundation of New Testament doctrine and the foundation of New Testament priesthood). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the realization of Moses’ dream in Exodus 20 of a nation of king-priests: first realized at Pentecost, and in every bona fide, Spirit-regenerated believer since.

If we don’t get this stuff right when we teach prayer and intercession,  we will inevitably energize striving and Old Covenant mentalities, intentionally, or not.

My hope is not that Jesus might be praying for me, that somehow, I am on the eternal prayer list of the Son of God.

My hope is that He is alive forever after the order of Melchizedek. Priesthood is the energizing power of government and kingship: a priesthood based on the quality of God’s own life,  His own eternal life in the resurrected God-Man, in human beings . . . the new creation race. That is the intercession.

That Spirit of priesthood has united with my spirit. I am a new creation. A member of a royal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. I am (along with others in the family of God) a living sacrifice, a living intercession for the world. My being is the intercession, of which my prayer life is but a fragment.

____________

Copyright 2012 Dr. Stephen R. Crosby www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

For a deeper examination of the topic of prayer and intercession from a New Covenant perspective, please refer to our book with Don Atkin, New Creation Prayer, available at www.stevecrosby.com.


25 comments on “Hebrews 7:25 – Jesus IS the Heavenly Intercession

  1. I love this blog! It helps people understand that Jesus has completed the work of salvation for us. He has interceded for us and now we are in a position to simply receive all that He has done for humanity through salvation. To suggest He is still interceding would mean that His death on the cross wasn’t enough to save us. God forbid! This truly blessed me today! YAY God for putting this topic on your heart to share..

  2. Thank you very very much for this post. It is so affirming and so encouraging to me. This really brings prayer into a communal perspective. I keep telling the congregation (GCI) I pastor that all this interceeding stuff and trying to reach God in heaven with our prayers is just plain old paganism! It’s all about Jesus and not all of our “ism’s” no matter how clever and creative they are. I had someone tell me Sunday “it’s not even about trinitarianism is it? It’s about who Jesus is!” That was a break through! I’m really troubled by all this “worship” we do in our congregations with singing to get our praises up to the throne of God and somehow excite God as much as we are excited by it. Like you did with prayer, would you comment on what worship is? It seems we church-goers really need to rethink what we are doing. Thanks again!

    • Thanks Joel. You are right. It is paganism, though profitable. 🙂 I have an entire book dedicated to the topic of worship from a New Covenant Perspective. I just recently wrote on FB, that our entire worship theology and practice needs a thorough new covenant update. The book is Praise, Worship, and the PResence of GOd: Toward a New Covenant understanding. It is available on the Online Mall tab at http://www.goczn.com/srcrosby, Stephanos ministries, in either soft cover, Kindle, e-pub, or pdf. What I am saying, I have already done what you have asked for and it is available there, as well as some of the previous posts on this blog, that relate to the topic. Thanks for asking.

      • Thank you. I’ll get that book and the one on prayer. I’m still working through your book on healing. Sometimes I have to just stop and let it digest. It seems like it’s all so simple and I’m so perplexed as to why we’ve (the church) ended up where we are with so much paganism. So few are satified with Jesus – they want to add something to him and you are right it is all so profitable! Thanks again.

        • Hi Joel, I understand the need to “digest’ lots of content in there. You’re right. Lots of things are so unnecessarily complicated. We just can’t seem to be satisfied with Jesus . . . it always has to be Jesus “plus” something else, all the while giving lip service to Jesus is enough. Well, apparently, He isn’t for what many people believe, and what many people teach.

  3. In addition to being quite provocative, it should also be quite revealing to discover the absence of referencing tongues (glossolalia) in Scripture. With the exception of isolated references to Pentecost in Jerusalem, the household of Cornelius, and in Ephesus, 1 Corinthians Chapters 12-14 provides our only biblical text.

    Writing to those who were “yet carnal” and “babes,” Paul put tongues in perspective and priority. He did not mention tongues in any of his other letters. Peter, James, John, the writer of Hebrews, and Jude also failed to mention tongues once!

    Your wonderful and powerful explanation regarding intercession helps us to see that Intercession is not a special ministry of a few, but a way of living in Christ who is our intercession. We become activated by the One who fills us with His life and ministry, even when speaking mysteries back to Him.

    • As in the physical was set free from “intercessory ministry” a few years ago, now I am spiritually set free from the “guilt” of not joining the old crowd in hours of striving, straining, grunting and groaning to try to produce something that IS already. Like re-inventing the wheel. I am doing my best to maintain a “guiltless” existence by resting in Him who is, was and will be forever my savior. Still saving us from ourselves after all these years. THANK YOU precious men of God not shy to share the truth of your revelation. Now to sort out the how to’s from the “way we always did it”. Does this mean no more hours of prayer? Are we to actually develop an “attitude” of prayer with no more meetings and beating our chests?

  4. I just wish you were in the UK… Just restarted Silent Killers of Faith again…
    Thankful for your ministry as always.

  5. We(especially me!!!!) seen to struggle with the fact that God want to bless us and fill us with his Spirit without having to do something to earn or put together the correct ingredients in a cosmic souffle’ or soup of some sort and thereby God is obligated to pour out His power,etc upon us(Me)! What can I add to the absolute perfect work of The Lord Jesus Christ?!!!! I marvel at God’s patience toward us!(especially me). Help us!!!

    • Chuck, great line about the cosmic souffle and adding our bit that obligates God . . . 🙂 You got it . . . it’s really a pagan paradigm . . . full on pagan. A deity that has to be conditioned by the devotions of the devotee to act on the devotee’s behalf . . . . pagan to the core.

  6. Hi Stephen,
    Very interesting unpacking. And many great points raised by the comments too. I just seems to make more sense doesn’t it: Jesus’ presence at the right hand of God’s throne IS all the intercession that was needed. He was from the tribe of Judah (no priests there) but has been declared high priest according to the order of Melchizedek (high priest), not by birth but by decree. He entered the heavens with His
    blood so it’s all done.

    I’m still never able to settle the issue of Jesus, Yeshua, a “God-man.” The Trinity is a still a mystery to me. I realize when I pray I never know Who I talk to among them. So if God is One, why do I have trouble praying to God, why do I speak to Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, or the Father? That’s 3 people I talk to in a different manner. And “squish!” goes my brain…

    Love Joel’s comment. For years I’ve been uneasy about the “summoning” of God “down here.” And it’s cutting me off from a very big portion of the prophetic movement, as I feel there’s disrespect and ignorance involved at best, and treating God like a familiar spirit at worse. The part that troubles me: how does that make God feel?

    So, believe in Jesus and you’ll have eternal life, your sins are forgiven and you will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. Far out, mind-boggling but hard to process. Eternal life is to know God and Him Whom He sent. Check. When you pray say: “Our Father, Who are in heaven…” Check. So what kind of conversation do we have with the other members of the Trinity, or do we talk to them? How do you trek your brain on the other side of that mental canyon…

    :O)

    Thanks!

    • Hi Andre, in regard to Trinitarian prayer issues, I know there is lots of opinion on that topic, and mine could be a simplistic cop-out. I will confess if it is so. However, my slant on the Romans 8:26 “groanings that cannot be uttered”, is that is has nothing to do with speaking in tongues, which is the usual Pentecostal/Charismatic presentation of that. (I had always thought it odd that a verse that refers to being unable to utter, turns, allegedly . . . into utterance . . . a very strained interpretation to me . .but I digress). I simply believe that the deep longings of my soul, those prayers, petitions, and even the words I manage to mumble, are administrated by the Holy Spirit on my behalf, so I do not even have to get to the other side of the mental cavern. Simply said, I do not trust in my ability to pray. I trust in a Father who knows my heart better than I do, and the Holy Spirit who knows how to communicate perfectly within the “perichoritic dance” of the Trinity. This then makes prayer an “exercise” of rest, instead of an exercise in mental futility, dubiously “sanctified” by my sincerity of intent. God bless!

      • Thanks Stephen,

        That’s helpful! How come a believer of 40+ years “in the Lord” wonders about these issues? I haven’t been able to find ONE “Gospel message” so far which simplifies everything I need to have assurance that I’m pleasing to God in a way that is linear. In fact, I get more confused the more I look and listen to what’s standing for mainstream, emergent or prophetic.

        Due to my own health limitations, I feel trapped in a life of “getting old” and long for a breakthrough into a new episode of passionate pursuit. But I quickly dismiss all avenues of action due to the fact that I realize I don’t stand on a solid, unique rock of assurance. Brainish, I know… I equate knowing the truth with finding healing, understanding, direction and energy to go and do. Being vulnerable here, and my opinion are subject to change without notice upon gaining insight… 🙂

        Thanks for the reply, Stephen…

        • Hi Andre, I do appreciate your transparent honesty. I agree with your self assessment in the sense of your subjectie posture being somewhat “brainish” . . . I believe God has given us an intellect to sanctify and use it, so I am not one of these “turn your brain off, turn your spirit on” guys. But I will say, that I believe truth is entered into experientally and subjectively, not acquired through intellectual effort. Intellect is not the engine of the train. Not even the coal car. It’s in the train but it follows the lead of other faculties. Because truth is incarnate in a Person, that has both designed fluidity and vagueness. Truth is a Him, not an it. Truth is not found in any “stream” or perspective” of “church” or “the Bible.” The downside of 500 years of European Reformation rationalism in the descendants of the same is, the belief that by studying the Bible I can define what is true in a linear fashion and “accept it.” Funny when one thinks of it, the ego-centricness about it . . . it is all about me, my efforts in the Scripture and when I am satisfied that my truth pursuit has been adequately realized, I will accept it . . . . I, I, I, I, I, I. As if the appropriate acquisition and management of accurate Bible info equals truth. It doesn’t.

          Jesus said, those who do his work will know the doctrine, not those who study the Bible. I study the Bible to provide raw material for the Spirit to lead me to Jesus through the in-working of the Cross. The Cross, not the bible is the instrument of the “subjectivizing” of God’s truth. The Bible is the objective data, but study of it is not the means of subjectivizing it. (The KJV . . . “study to show thyself approved” has nothing to do with the library . . . it means to stand up under pressure)

          Truth apprehends me, I don’t apprehend truth. That’s what separates Christianity from all other faiths.

          In terms of 40 years in . . . better late than never. He weakens our strength in the way . . . sometimes, it can take a long time to convince us “this ain’t gonna be realized” because I am determined to realize it. There is a reason Abraham bore fruit when his body was metaphorically dead . . . there is a statement in that. He was finally useful to God, when he couldn’t even have procreating sex . . . the most primal of all natural functions.

          Don’t know if this helps or not.

      • Thanks Stephen,

        Yes, helpful… I dig the part about the Holy Spirit and our groans-prayers, and yes, I experience confusion about the rest when I focus on matching my experience with the opinions and understandings I have… so maybe I don’t get to “get it”, only enough to go and do, but I don’t really believe that either… :O)

        So I will pray for enlightenment. After a while running and partaking in various forms and expressions of Christianity, being hurt and sometimes disgusted by what I’d see in various trends, I may have grown cynical and isolated myself. As painful and gut-wrenching as it has been over the years, forgiving people seems easier than healing from the effects of my responses. I guess that’s I’m trying to do: break down the inner walls that seem to be keeping me from the reality of God’s presence and manifest favor.

        That’s for the tips along the way, though, much appreciated! Growing in discernment is a conversation with the Spirit of God, since He is the Comforter and Teacher sent to live inside of me. Man, what a journey…

        Peace,

        Andre

    • Andre,
      I so appreciate your transparency. Thank you. I have gone through
      much of what you speak of…sometimes I am more cerebral than I should
      be and miss the simplicity completely. I am learning that He is Truth, not
      any specific doctrine or method. I just seek to know Him, know His heart….it simplifies things a lot that way. He is faithful to reveal Himself and desires to do so to you. Don’t seek truth…seek Him.
      This is statement that Steve wrote jumped out at me:
      “Truth apprehends me, I don’t apprehend truth. That’s what separates Christianity from all other faiths.”
      Peace, rest and love to you.

      • Hi Jeanne,

        Very kind of you to respond… I’m in the middle of such a strange season, strange but life-giving. Feels like I’m starting over … for the 4th or 5th time. Stephen’s words resonate with me, however, he has hit some key things, and I’ll keep on pondering them, and what you said too. Seek Him, invite Him to speak to me. These few words are pregnant with much hope…

        Many thanks!

        Andre

      • Andre, You’re most welcome. I know of what you speak-starting over. I have had to detox from so much that I had been wrongly taught and believed over the years.
        It’s hard, painful, but at the same time
        a really good thing; learning who Jesus really is and who I am in Him. Steve’s books and blogs have been extremely helpful through the process. He’s been there too….so he knows.

  7. Hey Steve, I haven’t had a chance to comment lately and wanted to concur with you on the rest! I have had many talks with people up here on this subject and I usually find resistance. But, I keep dropping little bits of truth trusting that the Holy Spirit will bring them to seed. I think it was 4 years ago that after studying your teaching on righteousness and our position, I truly was at rest. I continue to be at rest in God, thankful I don’t have to even break a sweat. He is in total control. I really appreciate you. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great clarity in this article, Steve. We cannot have ‘more’ when Jesus has ‘finished’ His work. To rest in what He has done is God’s plan right from the beginning and should be our goal. We simply accept truth and learn from Jesus how to walk in it – abiding in His promised presence. Thanks. Jean

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