Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
"He ever liveth to make intercession for us" is the noble description of Christ's mission in heaven, and as though to complete the idea of unceasing and perpetual vitality it is added that the work is carried on according to "the power of an endless life." In these days of freedom and independence we scarcely realise the force of a word like "intercession." How strange it seems to us to read, in the prefaces of their books, the most earnest entreaties for patronage and aid from great authors to persons now utterly forgotten, though once powerful. It is not easy to conceive how dependent was genius and worth upon the influence of those in power. Or in still worse days, such as those of war and violence, the weak and helpless were utterly neglected, and even for mere justice were dependent on the good offices of the influential and powerful. What a state of society is shown by the old German proverbs, supposed to have originated amidst the terrible hardships of the peasant and the poor man during "the thirty years' war." Such sayings as "Favour is better than right," or "A handful of might is better than a sackful of right," tell of days of bitter oppression and injustice, and in such times the good steward who would intercede for the starving peasant, or the kind countess who would plead for the oppressed, or the benevolent bishop who advocated the poor man's rights before greedy monarchs and servile counciler made the office of a mediator and an intercessor well understood. Let us picture to ourselves such a scene as may often have occurred. The father of a little family has been compelled to follow his feudal lord to the field, and fallen in battle. A covetous neighbour grasps their little farm, and the unfeeling over-bailiff pays no heed to their complaints. At length, driven from their home, the poor widow, with the ragged little children, begs her way to the palace of the king. Oh, if only she could lay her troubles before him, surely his kind heart would feel for her; doubtless his authority could redress her wrongs. But now, as she stands before the royal palace, she perceives that the gate is guarded by watchful sentinels, who forbid all entrance. She gazes wistfully through the gilded railings, she sees the splendour within — the towers and colonnades, and ranges of windows glistening in the sunlight; she beholds the smooth lawns, and the parterres gay with bright flowers, and wonders if those who enjoy all this magnificence know how hard and miserable are the lives of many others! But at this moment a lithe young figure advances along the broad gravelled walk. He is richly clad, a white plume adorns his cap, a noble hound gambols by his side, two attendants follow at a respectful distance. It is the king's only son. And now his keen young eye has caught sight of the wretched group that are peering through the iron bars. He notes their hungry looks, and bare feet, sore and blood-stained with long travelling, and their poor rags and emaciated frames. His heart is filled with pity for their sufferings. Drawing near he asks their history, what they seek, what they need. He listens patiently to the mother's long narrative, he helps her to explain herself by encouraging questions, and at last, finding that her great desire was that she could have her cause brought before the notice of the king, and that she had none to plead for her, he bids the sentries admit her, and taking the poor woman by the hand he leads her up to the palace door, and then, entering within its gilded portals, he himself lays the statement of her helplessness and misery before the throne, and asks in his own name for her petition to be granted! This is what intercession means, and the Christian rejoices as he kneels to utter the name of Jesus, to pour out his heart before Him, and realises with joy that the cause of the poor trembling, sin-stained mortal is pleaded on high by the ascended Lord — that wondrous Mediator, who is Man to feel with us, but likewise Divine in His nature, and endued with "the power of an endless life."
(J. W. Hardman, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore 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.