“… he always lives to make intercession for them” (v. 25) RSV
At first Jesus sat in heaven having completed his work on earth, but he now ever stands in order to minister. His ministry on earth is over, but his ministry in heaven has just begun and it is primarily prayer. He prays for us.
Do you remember how he prayed for Peter that “his faith would not fail” (Luke 22:32)? Peter still went on to deny Jesus three times, but his faith did not fail, for he was able to repent and be restored. When Jesus intercedes for us it does not mean that we cannot fail or that everything will go smoothly. Prayer does not fully bring heaven on earth, but it does strengthen us to stand our ground and fight the good fight.
The intercessions of the risen Christ are not only praying for us to continue to the end, but are always presenting his wounds. That may sound odd, but the nail marks and the stripes that he received are tokens of his life poured out. His sacrificial love has bought for us forgiveness and new life. His presence in heaven before the Father is a continual reminder of the ever loving heart of God. Because of Jesus there is always a way back to God from the dark paths of sin.
An example of the intercessions and prayers of Jesus is seen in his ‘High Priestly’ prayer in John 17. There you will see that he prays for himself, for his apostles and for all who believe through their witness (i.e. you and me). We are not alone. He has not left us nor forsaken us. He is with us and he prays for us.
Thank you Lord for your loving concern and involvement in my life. May I also pray for others as you pray for me. Amen.
The APCM is on the 3rd May. It will be a tea table meeting this year in the coffee shop area and begin at 4.00pm with tea/coffee. We would really like you to come to support the work here.
We also need folk to stand for the PCC – this year we will be working on a plan for the next five years and so there will be much to discuss as we pray for God’s vision for our church and community. The forms are on the table at the back of church.
Thank you to all who have written reports for the APCM . They are being compiled into a booklet which will be available next week. The Annual Report and Accounts are available at the back of church.
“Crown him with many crowns” are the words of a well known hymn. The King of kings has fulfilled his mission, ascended back into heaven and is now crowned. The exaltation moves Jesus on from the human version of God to the glorified Christ. He is no longer limited by his mortal frame, but has become the first-born of a new order of existence. He has been the trail blazer.
The letter to the Hebrews quotes Psalm 8:4-6 in order to express this coronation: “Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” (Hebrews 2:7-8). What a magnificent testimony to his unique life and achievement.
The followers of Jesus can rest assured that the kingdom of God has an ever-living and all powerful King sitting on the throne. They are on the winning side!
Paul also realised another benefit of this coronation. It was going to be available in some wonderful sense for all Christ’s people. He wrote to his protégé Timothy, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which … will be awarded to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy. 4:8). Thus, we too will reign with him when he comes in his kingdom. What a prospect! Be encouraged!
I rejoice that you Lord Jesus Christ have been glorified in the presence of your Father. Praise be! Amen.
The Diocese will make its farewells at a special service in Wells Cathedral on Saturday 18 April at 2.00p.m. Everyone is welcome. Afterwards there will be some light refreshments to share together in memories and thankfulness as Bishop Peter and Liz move away to their new home in Kent. A collection is being organised for a retirement gift and if you would like to contribute, please pass to a churchwarden.