Jesus just sitting in heaven waiting for the time to return
to earth? Or is he actively at work controlling and guiding
events on earth? How is he involved when we pray to God? What
does the Bible mean when it says we can have “Christ dwelling
in our hearts”? These questions are all concerned with
what Jesus is doing now. Read on to find some answers!
Under the law of Moses, there were many priests who served
God, who helped the people offer sacrifices day after day,
who ultimately died. Now we have only one priest—Jesus.
offered himself as a single sacrifice, and continues to live
our high priest.
1. In what ways was Jesus’ sacrifice different from
the sacrifices offered under the law? (See 7:27–28.)
2. How does Jesus intercede for us (7:25)?
3. Hebrews 8:1 describes Jesus as seated at God’s right
hand. What does this imply about his position and his
4. What does 8:2 say Jesus is doing now? What does this
5. In what ways is the new covenant superior to the old
Jesus our priest and mediator
Our sins cause us to become alienated from God. To be
reconciled to God, we need to be forgiven and made righteous. See
Chapter 17. Sin.
Jesus is the mediator who enables this to happen. He took
away our sins through his death, so we can be at peace with
Mediator: a person who helps bring about peace between two
. . . the blood of Christ. . . cleanse[s] our consciences
acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant,
that those who are called may receive the promised eternal
inheritance. (Hebrews 9:14–15)
Jesus is a mediator in the sense that he enables us to be
forgiven, to be reconciled to God, and to have eternal life.
His sacrifice opened the way between earth and heaven. At the
moment he died, the curtain in the temple was torn in two, showing that the way into God’s presence had now been
opened. Matthew 27:51
Advocate: a person who speaks in favour of another.
Jesus our advocate
Jesus also plays a role in speaking
to God about us. The following verses describe what
• “Christ Jesus, who died—more than that,
who was raised to
life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding
for us.” Romans 8:34
• “My dear children, I write this to you so that
you will not sin.
But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father
in our defence—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1
• “. . . he is able to save completely those who
come to God through
him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
• “For Christ . . . entered heaven itself, now
to appear for us in
God’s presence.” Hebrews 9:24
Jesus intercedes for us. He is our advocate at God’s
right hand and he speaks to God on our behalf. In Romans,
Paul describes this work of Jesus (referring to him as the
. . . the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know
what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes
for us with groans that words cannot express.(Romans
Through the power of the Spirit, Jesus knows what we mean
even if we cannot express it. He can speak to God about us,
adding to our prayers things we have difficulty saying.
Jesus understands our temptations and human feelings, because
he has experienced the same emotions.
. . . he had to be made like his brothers in every way,
in order that he might become a merciful and faithful
high priest in service to God, and that he might make
atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself
suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those
who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17–18)
we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with
our weaknesses, but we have one who has been
tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in
our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15–16)
Jesus our priest and mediator:
|1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14–16; 5:5–10; 6:20– 8:6; 9:11–15; 10:12,21; 12:24.
| Jesus our advocate:
|Romans 8:26,34; Hebrews 2:17–18; 4:15–16; 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1.
Jesus our Lord:
|Ephesians 1:20–23; Philippians 2:9–10; Colossians 2:10; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 3:21–22; Revelation 1:5.
Jesus in our hearts:
|John 6:56; 14:2,23; 15:5; Romans 8:9–11; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:16–17; Colossians 1:27.
When we pray, it is really comforting to know that Jesus understands
how we feel and can help us in our prayer.
Jesus our Lord
Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand, but he is not
idle. The book of Acts describes Jesus as actively at work
in the lives of believers:
• he poured out the Spirit at Pentecost; Acts 2:33
• he granted repentance and forgiveness of sins; Acts
• he controlled the work of Paul. Acts 16:7
• he appeared to people in visions; Acts 9:4–17;
Revelation describes him as the “ruler of the kings
of the earth”. Revelation 1:5 Peter describes his work
Jesus Christ. . . has gone into heaven and is at God’s
hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission
to him. (1 Peter 3:21–22)
has authority over angels and over affairs in the world. Paul
describes it like this:
[God] raised [Christ] from the dead and seated him at his
right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and
authority, power and dominion, and every title that can
be given, not only in the present age but also in the one
to come. And God placed all things under his feet and
appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything
in every way. (Ephesians 1:20–23)
Bible does not clearly distinguish between the work of Jesus
now and what God his father is doing. But it does make it
clear that Jesus is highly exalted, and has great power over
the affairs of the world and the lives of believers.
Jesus in our hearts
Before Jesus went to heaven, he promised that he would make
his home with believers.
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father
will love him, and we will come to him and make our home
with him. (John 14:23)
describes this as Christ “dwelling in your hearts through
Ephesians 3:17 faith”. When he wrote to the Romans,
he explained this further:
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but
by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone
does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to
Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because
of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is
living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also
give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives
in you. (Romans 8:9–11)
both God and his son help us to control our sinful nature
and to develop spiritual characteristics.
• Jesus is our priest and mediator. His sacrifice enables
to be forgiven and to be reconciled to God.
• Jesus is our advocate, speaking to his Father on our
behalf and helping us in our prayers.
• Jesus is our Lord, far above all human authorities.
controls events in the world and in the lives of believers.
• Jesus will be in our hearts if we love him and obey
teaching. He helps us control our sinful nature and
assists us in developing spiritual characters.
1. Read Hebrews 9:15. This suggests that Jesus’ death
provides forgiveness for people who lived before he was
born. How can that be? [Hint: read Hebrews 10:1–14.]
2. In what way did Jesus’ death open the way to God?
does this affect us in practise?
3. What does it mean to have “Christ dwelling in your
hearts”? How does this affect us in practise?
1. Read Hebrews 6:20–7:17. List the various ways
that Melchizedek and Jesus were similar.
2. Read all the passages on “Jesus in our hearts”
that are listed on page 183 (and any others that you can find).
What are the conditions that must occur before Jesus will
dwell in our hearts? What are the consequences of having Jesus
dwell in our hearts?
• BBB Study 7.7
35. The sacrifice of Jesus
51. The fruit of the Spirit
52. Led by the Spirit