3

The bible tells us both that Jesus has been given all authority but he also is ever making intercession for us with God the Father.

Has there ever been any theological explanation by anyone on why Christ with all authority needs to make intercession if the Father has already entrusted him with all authority?

Hebrews 7:25
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.

Romans 8:34
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us

Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Colossians 2:10
and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

1 Peter 3:22
who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

To clarify (from discussion in comments below):
I am interested in this topic specifically, the relationship of Christ's authority with Christ's making intercession. This is a Jesus Christ specific topic and understanding the dynamic of his authority and his role as intercessor including the meanings of those words and roles in relationship to each other.

13
  • Can you edit this to explain more why you think being given all authority means there'd be no need for intercession/mediation? – curiousdannii Mar 5 at 13:54
  • 2
    I think the answer would be covered by asking why the Spirit and the Son intercede [to the Father] for us. In mentioning Romans 8:34, you neglected 8:27. (Sure, this was probably done to focus the question on Jesus, but why not seek the greater question about how the Godhead interacts with itself) – The Chaz 2.0 Mar 5 at 14:33
  • 2
    Authority does not always mean "absolute command". Someone can have authority on behalf of someone else. A viceroy (one who stands in for a king) has authority, but they have it in the King's name. They cannot go against the king's wishes. – DJClayworth Mar 5 at 15:12
  • 1
    It's like asking if Jesus was either ignorant or lying when he said the mustard seed is the smallest seed. By arbitrarily limiting the scope of the question, and precluding any answer that extends (or exists) beyond the borders you have created, you leave the question unanswerable. – The Chaz 2.0 Mar 5 at 16:40
  • 1
    The key word in Matthew 28:18--vis a vis your question--is the word GIVEN, Who GAVE Jesus all authority? His Father. In other words, the authority Jesus was given was delegated to him to do whatever is necessary to build the church he said he would build (see Matthew 16:17). His first use of that authority was to tell his followers that in his absence, wherever they went, they should be making disciples along the way. Their target audience: people from all the people-groups in the world. That Great Commission is still in effect today, and will be until the church he said he'd build is built. – rhetorician Mar 9 at 23:59
5

I think your question stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of authority. To have authority does not simply mean to have absolute control over something. Authority is often - even usually - given to someone by someone else, and is exercised on their behalf. An army officer has authority over his men, but he also receives his own orders and is expected to carry them out.

For example, an emperor who rules over many lands may give authority to a viceroy to rule over one of them for him. That is not the same as just giving the land to the viceroy - the viceroy is expected to rule on behalf of the emperor, in the name of the emperor, and in the interests of the emperor, doing what the emperor would do if he were there. The viceroy has authority over the land, but it is not just his to do as he wants.

I believe the passages mean authority in this sense - Jesus has the authority over heaven and earth, but it is to do the Father's will. If the Father wishes the unjust punished, then the Son needs to do that. Such a reading would certainly reconcile the passages you quote.

There is also the question of personal relationship. To go back to our example, if someone in the viceroy's land has offended the emperor personally, the viceroy on his own is not able to reconcile with them, because the viceroy is not the person of the emperor. Only the emperor himself can do that.

Fortunately for us Jesus has also been given the authority to intercede for us with the Father, to both ask him to forgive us and to reconcile us with him personally.

There is a certain amount of extra complication here because the nature of the Trinity is not exactly like that of three different beings, but the question of authority versus intercession is not one of the complications.

1
  • This is well said, thank you. – Adam Heeg Mar 5 at 18:27
6

The authority given to the resurrected and glorified Christ includes his role as mediator for sinful humans, just as he also has the roles of Priest and King.

Since ascending to heaven, sinful humanity still needs intercession, because they cannot approach a holy and righteous God. The authority granted to the Son of God includes his role as intercessor in order to help us in our weakness to draw close to God.

We know that although Christ’s work to secure the salvation of the elect was completed on the cross, as evidenced by His cry “It is finished!” (John 19:30), his care for his redeemed children will never be finished. He is, after all, the Good Shepherd, and his Father has entrusted the elect into his care. This work will continue until the end of the age when all things are handed back to his Father.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John2:1)

Here is a short extract from a Protestant article https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-interceding.html that shows why it is necessary for Jesus to intercede on our behalf:

After Jesus ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 1:9; Colossians 3:1), He returned to the glory He had before His incarnation (John 17:5) to carry on His role of King of kings and Lord of lords—His eternal role as the second Person of the triune God. While this old earth continues to be “won” for Christ, Jesus is the Advocate for Christians, meaning He is our great Defender. This is the intercessory role He currently fulfills for those who are His (1 John 2:1). Jesus is always pleading our case before the Father, like a defense lawyer on our behalf.

Only Christ Jesus has the authority to intercede on our behalf so that we may draw close to God:

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

That authority is part of his role as Advocate, Priest and King.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.