May 4 – LD 18, Day 5: Our Advocate is in Heaven
by Rev J. Kortering
Hebrews 9:24, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”
The catechism lists three advantages for us by Christ’s ascension into heaven. The first one we consider here, “That He is our advocate in the presence of His Father in heaven.”
An advocate is the term for a lawyer who has the right to represent clients before the courts. Such a person needs a license to do this and must display qualifications that enable him to pursue such a high position.
Jesus as our advocate was qualified through His earthly ministry; He bore our guilt before the law of God. In the resurrection, God certified that Jesus had the right and ability to practice as our advocate before His bar of justice in heaven; He gave Him His license to practice. That was no ordinary graduation exercise; it was accompanied by the earthquakes, resurrections of the dead, and the tearing of the veil in the temple. Before that divine speech, we look to our representative who is now in heaven and functions as our mouth piece before the Father.
And what does He say on our behalf?
He told us before He left, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou has given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” These are the sweet words of the high-priestly prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17:24.
That legal plea before the Father says it all.
Sorrow turns into joy when we meditate upon this. He is not here. Look heavenward, He is gone away FOR US, on account of our good. Jesus represents us before God’s throne and speaks day and night this great petition - Father, I care about my people, take care of them on earth, gather them by my Word and Spirit, so conduct the affairs of history, that in the end they ALL may be with me in this heavenly glory.
The Father’s answer to this plea is all comprehensive. The plan that He has for them, laid down in the foundation of eternity, will be carefully executed and realized. He will do this through the exalted Christ. All things work together for that final good.
What an advantage.