Summary: Romans 8:26-28 is a very comforting passage... but what does the Bible mean by saying God intercedes for us?
The court was in session and there were the usual niceties that had to be observed. Everyone stood as the judge entered the courtroom. When everyone was seated again, the judge read the charges, and then asked the man at the defense table: “Are you the defendant in this case?” The defendant replied with these words: “No sir, your honor. I’ve got a lawyer to do the defendin’. I’m the guy who done it.”
He done it! He was guilty - but he had an attorney who would defend him. Intercession is what lawyers do for their clients, and lawyers are often the defenders of guilty people. That’s why in I John 2:1 it says “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 (or lawyer) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
When we are guilty (when we have sinned), Jesus is our advocate/attorney; Our defender; Our “intercessor”. He intercedes on our behalf. In fact that’s why Jesus came and died on our behalf.
A famous prophecy about Christ is found in Isaiah 53:12 where God declares: “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes INTERCESSION for the TRANSGRESSORS.”
When Jesus came and died for our sins on the cross so He could make INTERCESSION for us. We were sinners; we were guilty; He came to be our defender, our advocate, our intercessor. And we received from Him… the opportunity to be freed from condemnation. We have a God who loves us so much… that He intercedes for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
In fact, intercession is IMPORTANT to God because (as it says in Psalm 103) “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:10-14
Intercession is important to God, BECAUSE He knows how fragile we are, and because intercession is so important to God He gives us examples of intercession throughout the Bible.
For example: When God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah - who was it that interceded for those evil cities? It was Abraham! (Gen18:23-32) Why would God include that appeal in the Bible? Because God wanted us to see what intercession looks like.
When God told Moses that Israel had sinned so badly He intended to destroy them - who interceded for those sinful people? It was Moses (Exodus 17:8-16) Why would God include Moses’ appeal in the Bible? Because God wanted us to see what intercession looks like.
Notice, these intercessions were done for people who did NOT deserve to be spared. When God interceded for folks… they NEVER deserved it.
ILLUS: I read a cartoon that put it this way: The JURY FOREMAN stood and said “Your honor, 7 of us find the defendant - guilty as charged. Three of us find him - as guilty as they come. And 2 of us find him - guilty from the word ‘go.’”
That’s us. We’re guilty. Guilty as charged; guilty as they come; guilty from the word “Go”. We don’t have the right to receive any blessings from God. And yet God loved us so much that HE WANTED to give us His blessings… and so He interceded for us.
And that brings us to our Favorite Scripture passage this morning. Romans 8:26-28. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Remember, we are a fragile people, and we know we don’t deserve for God to listen to us. So a lot of people feel like God WON’T listen to them.
ILLUS: Have you ever heard “I don’t think my prayers get past the ceiling”? “I keep talking, but I don’t think God is listening.” “It’s like He’s not in the same room with me.”