My Advocate Is on High
Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high . . . on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend (Job 16:19, 21 NIV).
Job longed for someone to plead his cause with God (Job 9:33). Like him we too might come to a point in life where we feel the need to have an advocate with God. The good news is that the Bible says we have One to plead our cause with God. Though Job might not have fully understood the role of his advocate in heaven, we have been given the privilege to know much more about Him. His name is Jesus!
During His life on earth, Jesus spoke a parable. That parable talks about a man who planted a fig tree in a vineyard. But when the master came to look for fruit in it, he did not find any. So he said to the caretaker of the vineyard, “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?” (Luke 13:7 NIV). But then the caretaker pleads to the master to give the fig tree one more year; one more chance. During that time he promised to dig around it and fertilize it. He also said that if it did not yield fruit even after such efforts the master may feel free to cut it down.
Think about it. What if that caretaker had not spoken on behalf of that fig tree? In a similar fashion, what if our advocate in heaven does not speak on your behalf? But He does. The Bible says that Jesus speaks to the Father on our behalf when we sin (see 1 John 2:1). He does that continuously for He lives forever. Yes, He has a permanent priesthood: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need” (Hebrews 7:25, 26a NIV). See, Jesus intercedes for you in God’s presence.
In yet another passage, the same truth is revealed thus: “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34 NIV). So you can be bold when Satan accuses you, because you have been washed by the blood of the Lamb. Therefore Jesus is pleading for you before God (read Zechariah 3:1–5 for better understanding of Satan’s accusation and the Lord’s reply/read also Revelation 12:10b, 11a).
Jesus has such earnestness in pleading for you because He is not ashamed to call you brother/sister (Hebrews 2:11b) and He is not unable to sympathize with your weakness. This is because He too was tempted in every way, just as you are tempted today. But He did not sin.
So He understands the pressure of temptation on your life. But when tempted, you can do this: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV). You can do so in hope because Jesus your brother is there as your advocate on your behalf before God’s holy presence.