“It is finished!” (Jn 19:30)
We hear this cry of Jesus from the cross and know that his earthly work is done. So how is Jesus relevant now? Isn’t he in heaven ruling and reigning at the right hand of the Father (Eph. 1:20-23)? But what is he doing for me right now?
In our time of social and physical distancing, we feel the alienation and separation from other people. We were made to be creatures of social interaction and relationship. But is it really good that Jesus has gone away (Jn 16:7)? Since his work on earth is done, does it make sense to continue to focus on Jesus?
Maybe you’ve never asked this question in this particular way. But at some point, everyone wonders if Jesus cares and notices us. These questions arise in times of trial, temptation, failure, and disappointment. Who can honestly say that this Covidian exile has not had elements of difficulty, trial, temptation, and disappointment? Does Jesus care?
Recently I have been reading through Dane Ortlund’s book Gentle and Lowly: Christ’s Heart for Sinners and Sufferers. Ortlund writes for those who are running on fumes, constantly feeling like they are trying to run up the descending escalator, wondering how they could have messed up so badly again, and for those who know theological truths that God loves us but suspect we have deeply disappointed him. Does he harbor a mild resentment toward us because our lives haven’t been as great as we thought they would be?
Right now, Jesus is in heaven, ruling and reigning. His work of securing our redemption has been accomplished, but it has not yet been fully applied. You and I are not like Jesus fully (yet). So what is Jesus doing for us right now?
Everything! Ortlund looks at Hebrews 7:25 and reminds us of the ongoing, never-ending work of Christ for us: “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.” Ortlund writes:
“God’s forgiving, redeeming, restoring touch reaches down into the darkest crevices of our souls, those places where we are most ashamed, most defeated. More than this, those crevices of sin are themselves the places where Christ loves us the most. His heart willingly goes there. His heart is most strongly drawn there. He knows us to the uttermost, and he saves us to the uttermost, because his heart is drawn out to us to the uttermost. We cannot sin our way out of his tender care.”
Christ is always living to make intercession for us. He is praying for you – for the sufferings, sorrows, temptations, and trials you experience. He is praying for his redemption to be applied.
Forever Christ lives as our mediator. Forever he pleads for your eternal joy. Forever he is saving you in every dark, shame-filled, sorrow-laden, sin-stained place of your heart. This intercessory ministry is his ongoing joy for and to you!
So, won’t you come to him, messy, broken, sin-stained, hurting, and tired? He loves it when we come weary and heavy-laden so that he can take our burdens and give us his rest.
Christ is not distant from you. He is ministering even now on your behalf. So come to him boldly and pray – he is ready, eager, and willing to minister his rest to you today!
Missional Action Prayer: Lord, as I see the beauty of Christ’s ongoing ministry for me, fill my heart with love for those who are suffering, weak, burdened, and weighed down so that they may know of the infinite love of Christ for them. Amen.