The Double Intercession

Romans 8:26  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Roman 8:26, 34ROM 8:2626Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)>ROM 8:3434Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)>
In these verses we are furnished with a truth of the most precious and consolatory nature, namely, the double intercession which is being continually carried on, in our behalf. In verse 26, we have the intercession of the Holy Spirit in us; and in verse 34, we have the intercession of Christ for us.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Here we have the intercession of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, to help our infirmities, and carry on His intercessory work with unutterable groanings. He creates desires in the soul which are too profound for utterance, and cannot be clothed in human language.
But there is more than this. We have not merely the Holy Ghost dwelling and acting in us, down here, but we have also the Lord Jesus Christ living and acting for us up in heaven.
“Who is he that condemneth. It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
What full provision. What abounding consolation! What precious encouragement! What a mercy to know that even in our coldest, darkest, and most barren seasons-when we seem hardly able to utter a single syllable-when our hearts seem as cold and as hard as the very boards we are kneeling upon, how truly blessed, at such times, to remember the solid and soul-sustaining truth, that the Holy Ghost is groaning in us, and that Christ takes those unuttered groans and presents them to the Father, in all the preciousness and acceptableness of the One who produces them, and the Ore who presents them! The double intercession is continually going on. Morning, noon, eventide, and midnight, the Holy Ghost is acting in us, and Christ is acting for us.
“I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." John 14:11Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1).6.
“Wherefore He (Jesus) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. 7:2525Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25).
This double action can never be interrupted for a single moment. The very weakest believer is maintained before God in the divine power of this double intercession-the intercession of the Spirit in him-the intercession of Christ for him. What comfort for the heart in this! What ample provision "for the exigence of every hour!”
It frequently happens that the Christian finds himself afflicted, in his seasons of retirement, with excessive barrenness and wandering. He tries to pray, but cannot. He finds it impossible to throw his desires into intelligible form. He groans, and that groan is the fruit of the Spirit's mighty operation; it ascends, as such, to the throne of God, and is presented there by that blessed Advocate who ever lives to make intercession for us. Nothing goes up, save that which is of the Spirit. The unutterable groan is produced in us by God the Spirit; it passes up through the priestly hands of God the Son; and is thus presented to God the Father.
The Lord Jesus Christ knows how to separate the precious from the vile, in all our actings and exercises. He casts the vile away, and presents the precious to God, in our behalf. We have an illustration of this at the close of the first chapter of the book of Leviticus. There we see the offerer bringing an offering of fowls unto the priest.
“And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar, and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar; and he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes; and he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." Lev. 1:15-1715And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar: 16And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes: 17And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord. (Leviticus 1:15‑17).
The priest's eye discerned, at once, what parts of the offering were fit for God's altar, and what for "the place of the ashes." This was his business. The offerer brought the sacrifice to the priest, and the priest prepared it for the altar. He separated the precious from the vile. The priestly eye and the priestly knife were needful ere the sacrifice was in a fit condition to be presented upon the altar of the God of Israel.
All this is full of meaning-full of instruction-full of comfort for the Christian. In our very best services, and costliest sacrifices, there is abundance answering to "the crop and feathers" of the Levitical ceremonial; but, blessed be God, we have "a Great High Priest" in whose hand we can place all our offerings, in the fullest assurance that He knows what to do with those offerings, and that when they have passed under His priestly eye and under the action of His priestly hand, they shall ascend to the throne of God in all the fragrance of His most excellent name. This is eminently calculated to impart confidence to our hearts while we seek, notwithstanding our felt weakness, to respond to the exhortation of the apostle,
“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Heb. 13:15, 1615By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:15‑16).
We need not be afraid to bring the very smallest offering. We may not be able to present "a bullock" or "a lamb;" our measure may be only that of "a turtle dove," or "a young pigeon." It matters not. If only the Holy Ghost originates the sacrifice, then Christ will assuredly present it, and God will be "well pleased.”