This is the week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. This Is not some abstract thought. It means that Jesus is physically in heaven at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. He is praying for us right now.

Hebrews 7.25 tells us ‘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.’ 

…The divine Son never ceases…to bring his atoning life, death and resurrection before his Father in a moment-by-moment way. Christ “turns the Father’s eyes to his own righteousness,” wrote Calvin, “to avert his gaze from our sins…. that by his intercession he prepares a way and access for us to the Father’s throne.” 

Do we realize what this means? Note the blessed realism of the Bible. This is the explicit acknowledgement that we Christians are ongoing sinners. Christ continues to intercede on our behalf in heaven because we continue to fail here on earth. He does not forgive us through his work on the cross and then hope we make it the rest of the way. Picture a glider, pulled up in the sky by an airplane, soon to be released to float down to earth. We are that glider: Christ is the plane. But he never disengages. He never lets go, wishing us well, hoping we can glide the rest of the way into heaven. He carries us all the way.

….Our prayer life stinks most of the time. But what if you heard Jesus praying aloud for you in the next room? Few things would calm us more deeply.

An extract from Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly, Crossway, 2020 (pp.83-84).

Contributed by Kathryn Button