Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
-Romans 8:34 (NLT)
One of the most popular chapters in the Bible is Romans 8. Having spent so much of the first seven chapters describing for us the desperate condition of our sinful lives, Paul turns his attention to the gracious and loving activity of Christ in our redemption. As in verse one, Paul is clear in showing believers that the condemnation which follows the judgment of sin has been satisfied in the sacrifice of Jesus. It is important to emphasize this glorious truth of our salvation but not at the expense of how the verse concludes.
Having satisfied the righteous requirements of God’s law and holiness, Jesus takes His place of honor beside the Father and continues to work on our behalf. He pleads for us. He intercedes for us. He, as the God-Man, is our mediator in real-time—not just in past tense. This is so very important to remember as we persevere in faith. There is a promise in Romans 8:34 that we should cling to, but is there not also an example?
I am consistently reminded (and desire to remind you) that our lives after trusting Christ are engaged in the work of becoming like Christ. How much more could we look like Christ than in our practice of prayer, and specifically prayer on behalf of others? Admittedly, the benefits we ask on behalf of others can also benefit us as well, but often prayer must be directed away from ourselves and toward others. In light of the mess we experience in our world, sometimes our energy is spent on issues that burden us. Particularly, some of us feel specific burdens in passionate ways that are more unique person to person. We work like Jesus as we pray for God to deal with the issues that only He can affect. These burdens will always be connected to people and relate to God’s glory revealed in our nation and world. By God’s gracious answer to our prayers, we experience His blessing amid the mess.
Please plan on gathering with us on Sunday evening at 6:00, October 18. We will spend dedicated time in prayer directed at these burdens we are feeling the most right now. I am looking forward to using this time solely focused on being like Jesus in the work of pleading for those needs.