The bible is full of God’s chosen people interceding on behalf of those who likely didn’t deserve it. The act and compulsion to intercede for others before God was done out of love for God. Often we think of people questioning our actions or thoughts as disrespect. What if sometimes when you are being questioned, it is actually out of love and care for your well being?
Abraham tried to intercede for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, he saved Lot. Moses interceded many times during his travels through the desert with the freed Israelites. On several occasions Moses asked God if the act of killing all of his people is how he wants to be remembered by the people of the world. This expression was not teaching God, but it was showing a love for God. God allowed Moses to continuously question his acts of just punishment for the continuous breaking of his covenant with the Israelite people. Moses was always worried in each situation about God’s reputation and honor. Moses didn’t want the failures of man to tarnish the image of the only God who cared about how fairly its believers were treated.
Jesus interceded for all of us, taking upon himself the sin of the world. He did this so that all of us can be safe from just punishment for the things we’ve done and deserve punishment for. No one was there to intercede for our Lord, Jesus at this moment. His disciples scattered, his loyal follower peter disowned him. No one stepped up with courage against the mob to speak about how unfair this punishment was. No one there to say “What has this man done but teach and do good?” They didn’t even have to believe he was the Messiah to defend him.
Jesus calls on us to defend each other. His people failed to speak out on his behalf, but we right now can do it. We can speak out on behalf of those persecuted by our brothers and sisters because of their sins. We can advocate for their salvation that they don’t have to earn. We can encourage them to be better and to change. We can share the burdens they walk with and the consequences of the sins they experienced. This isn’t a call to oppose brother and sister, but to intercede on the behalf of a neighbor, and even an enemy.
We are all sinners, not one brother or sister in Christ can claim otherwise. Not one of us can stand more justified than another. Intercede for others because it is what Jesus wants. He wants you to break the chains of sin that make us hold grudges, feel condemnation, hate, resentment, envy, or desire. He wants you to do the opposite of what your brain is telling you to do, the opposite of what your instinct to survive is telling you, the opposite of what the desire of your heart is telling you.
Jesus said that anything we do to the least of us, we do to him. God wants you to intercede for others. He wanted Abraham to intercede for others, Moses to intercede for others, Jesus to intercede for others. This is the way God shows how much he loves us. He is giving us a way to gain a reward we don’t deserve. He wants you to prove to the world how great God is because you and I will not continue to persecute what he has already forgiven. He wants you to be a blessing to the sinners who need something good in their lives. He wants us to stop attacking and start defending.
Interceding for others proves that we love God. We know they don’t deserve defense, neither do we, yet Jesus died on a cross for us. Jesus died on a cross for them too. When we show love to people who don’t deserve that love it gives them an opportunity to see the truth. It is a miraculous thing to be able to forgive sins of others, or be courageous when opposing a mob of angry people, especially fellow believers. Some of our brothers and sisters have taken the sins of others done with no connection to them as sins personally against them. They attack and they march toward these people who carry a cross of their own making. Someone has to stand between and be a voice of reason. Someone has to defend them and calm the mob.
Jesus would stand there in front of the crowd and say “he who is without sin may cast the first stone.” We know this because he already did it. We know what Jesus would do, what will WE do?
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.