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Secondly, the prevalency of Christ's intercessions with the Father will appear, if we consider the inclination and disposition that God the Father hath unto the same things that Christ prayeth and intercedeth for. If a child should come and intreat his father in a matter th the father hath no mind to, or that the father is set against, possibly he might not prevail : but if a beloved child shall come and pray
the father in a business that the father likes as well as the child, surely then the child is very like to speed. Thus it is : the Lord Jesus Christ comes and he intercedes for us, and the Father hath as great an inclination and disposition unto the work that Christ intercedes for, as Christ himself hath; and therefore says Christ, “ Lo, I come to do thy will: I come not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” That which Christ did, that he had a mind to; it was rather the will of the Father than Christ's will: the Father is as strongly inclined and disposed to what Christ did and wills, as Christ himself. 66 Those that thou hast given me," says he, “I have lost none;" they are thine own, Lord, and therefore I pray for them. We have a notable expression to this end in the xth chapter of John and the 17th verse. “ Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.” “I lay down my life:” here is his suffering and his satisfaction. “ That I may take it again :" go up to heaven and take it again and intercede. 66 Therefore doth my Father love me:" Oh! what a round of love is here: God the Father out of love sends Christ into the world to die for man: 6 God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." Well, Jesus Christ out of love to us he dies for us : “ Who hath loved us and given himself for us.” The Father loves the world in giving Christ; the Son loves the world in dying for us; and the Father he loves Christ again for loving us.
Christ loves us, and the Father loves Christ again for loving of us. A mighty high expression ! that the Father should love Christ for loving us. So then look wherein the love of Christ is seen unto poor sinners, the Father's inclination and disposition is unto that as much as Christ's. So that when he comes unto God the Father and does intercede, he must needs prevail, because the Father loves him for his interceding, the Father likes the matter as well as he, loves him the better for it.
Thirdly, this will appear also, if we consider upon what terms our Lord and Saviour Christ, our great High Priest, was taken and admitted into heaven, the holy of holiest: so it is called. He was honorably received into heaven, and he was received thither for to do the work of the high priest. He was honorably received when he came to heaven: “ Sit thou down at my right-hand,” says God the Father to him; a note of honor. When Solomon would express his honor to his mother, he set her down at his right-hand. Thus God the Father would express the honorable welcome that Christ had when he came to heaven: Sit thou down at my righthand, says he. Now
shall observe, that whensoever this is made mention of, the sitting down at the right-hand of God the Father; it is made mention of, not with the kingly office of Christ, but with the priestly office of Christ : as if he were set down there to do the work of the priestly office. One would think, I say, that this should be expressed with the kingly office of Christ, but you shall find it running along in the scripture still with the priestly office of Jesus Christ. Look into Hebrews viii. l. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum : “We have such, an High Priest, who is set on the right-hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." It is named with the priestly office. And so again in the xth chapter of the Hebrews, at the 11th and 12th verses, “Every high priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin: but this man (speaking of Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right-hand of God.” It is carried along with the mention of the priestly office of Christ; as if he were sat down at the right-hand of God the Father in heaven, on purpose to do the work of the priestly office. When Jesus Christ came into heaven, into the holy of holiest, he came thither as our great High Priest; and he said unto God the Father, Lord, I am not now come in mine own name, for my own sake only, but I come as the great High Priest, having on this breast-plate the name of all the elect: and I come to intercede for poor sinners; I come as High Priest. Says God the Father to him, Welcome upon those terms, welcome upon those terms; notwithstanding thou dost come in their names, come and sit down at my right-hand, says God the Father to him. Thus the Father is engaged, for he received him upon those terms into heaven, as our great High Priest. The Father therefore is engaged to hear his intercession, and so the intercession of Jesus Christ must have a great deal of power and prevalency with God the Father in heaven. This is the second thing.
But, thirdly, Does the Lord Jesus Christ intercede for us in heaven as our great High Priest?
Yes, and he does do this in a more transcendent and eminent way and manner than ever any high priest did before him.
For, first, he hath gone through more temptations than ever any high priest did. “He was tempted,” says the text, “ that he might succour those that are tempted," as an High Priest. If he was tempted that he might succour those that are tempted, succour them as an High Priest; then the more he was tempted, the more experimentally able he is for to succour those that are tempted. Never any high priest that was tempted like unto Christ. “ He was (says the apostle) in all things tempted like unto us, sin only excepted." Poor soul, name any temptation that thy heart is scared at the thoughts of, and you will find that the Lord Jesus Christ he was tempted with that temptation. You will say, I am oftentimes tempted to doubt whether I be the child of God or no, and that very often. So was Christ too: you know the place in the ivth of Matthew, “ If thou be the Son of God," and "If thou be the Son of God,” twice that the devil would set an if upon Christ's Sonship. Oh! but I am tempted often times to use indirect means to get out of trouble. So was Christ too : 6 Command that these stones be made bread,” says the devil to him. Oh! but sometimes I have been tempted even to lay violent hands upon myself. So did the devil tempt Christ too : “ Cast thyself down off the pinnacle of the temple ;" that was a temptation. Oh! but I am tempted unto such evil things, that truly I am afraid to speak of; such blasphemies, such horrid, and wretched blasphemies, as I think never came upon the heart of any
child of God, so that I am afraid to think of them, and ashamed to mention them. And was not Christ so ? was not he tempted so ? Says the devil to him, “ All this will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Oh ! horrid blasphemy! blush, blush, O sun : that the Lord Jesus, the God of glory, should fall down to the devil, and worship the devil; what wretched blasphemy was here, that he should speak this ! and yet the Lord Jesus Christ, he was tempted to it. What shall I say, He was in all things tempted like unto us, sin only excepted. Now, there was never any high priest that was so tempted, and he was therefore tempted, that he might succour those that are tempted. He is more able as our High Priest to intercede, to put in for you, and to succour you, than ever any high priest was before him.
Again, as he hath gone through more temptations than ever any high priest did: so also, he is filled with more compassions. It behoved the high priest to be merciful: it is an office of love, and mercy. Now our Lord and Saviour Christ (says the apostle) is such an High Priest as cannot but be touched with your infirmities: the high priest that did go before him, sometimes, was not touched with their infirmities : Hannah came and prayed, and Eli's heart was not touched with her infirmity, at the first. But our High Priest cannot but be touched, he does sympathize with us under all our infirmities. He is afflicted in all our afflictions. It was the work of the high priest to sympathize with the people; and yet notwithstanding, there was a law, that the high priest might not mourn for his kindred, in that he might not, as others, sympathize or mourn. But now, our Lord Jesus, he does fully sympathize with us, and therefore goes beyond all the high priests that ever were before him.
Further, He is more faithful in his office, and place, than ever any high priest was. Aaron was an high priest, but unfaithful in the matter of the golden calf. But our Lord and Saviour Christ, he is more faithful than Moses was. In this iiird of Hebrews 1st and 2nd verses, and so on) “ Wherefore, holy brethren, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house." He steps over Aaron ; who was the high priest, and he compares him here to Moses in faithfulness. Now Moses was faithful in all his house: but our Lord and Saviour here, he is preferred before Moses in point of faithful
ness; yet it is said, “ Moses was faithful in all his house." When that the Lord commanded Moses any thing, as the Lord commanded so did he, and rose up early in the morning to do the commandment of God: he was faithful in all his house; and yet our Lord and Saviour was more faithful than Moses in the matter of his priesthood. For so it is brought in here, at the iiird verse,
66 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house, hath more honour than the house." Verse the 5th. “Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after : but Christ as a son over his own house.” Look now, as a child or a son is more faithful in his father's house than a servant will be: so (says the apostle) Christ is more faithful than Moses. And look as the builder of the house, does go beyond, and excel every beam, and stone in the house, or every part of the building : so does the Lord Christ in faithfulness, exceed Moses. You will say, there is a great difference between a stone in the building, and the maker of the house: look what difference there is between a stone, or a piece of wood, and the maker of the building : so great a difference there is (says the apostle) between Jesus Christ, in the matter of his priesthood, and Moses; yet notwithstanding, Moses is faithful in all his house. Oh! then how faithful is Jesus Christ, in the matter of his priesthood! He goes before all that ever went before him.
Again, take other high priests, and though they were never so good, they could not always intercede, they died; the high priest died, and another came in his room: but this man liveth for ever to make intercession,
Yea, take the high priest in the times of the old testament; and while he lived, he did not always intercede for the people: once in a year, the high priest came to enter into the holy of holiest to sprinkle the mercy-seat with blood, and caused a cloud to arise upon the mercy-seat, with his prayer, and intercessions for their acceptance : and then he went out of the holy of holiest, and laid aside his garments. But now, our great High Priest, is ascended into the holy of holiest never to put off his priestly garments : and he does not once a year sprinkle the mercy-seat with his sacrifice, but