What a mine of daily comfort!
(J. C. Ryle, “Looking Unto Jesus!“)
“Looking unto Jesus.” Hebrews 12:2
If we would look rightly to Jesus—we must look daily to His life of intercession in heaven, as our principal provision of strength and help.
We surely feel that we need Almighty help every day we live. Even when started in the narrow way of life, with pardon, grace, and a new heart—we soon find that, left to ourselves, we would never get safely to our heavenly home. Every returning morning brings with it so much to be done and borne and suffered—that we are often tempted to despair. So weak and treacherous are our hearts, so busy the devil, so persecuting and ensnaring the world; and such poor, weak creatures are we—that we need Almighty help! What are we to do? Where are we to look?
The great Scriptural remedy for all who feel such helplessness as I have faintly described, is to look upward to Christ in heaven, and to keep steadily before our eyes, His intercession at the right hand of God. We must learn to look UPWARD, away from ourselves and our weakness—and upward to Christ in heaven. We must try to realize daily that Jesus not only died for us and rose again, but that He also lives as our Advocate and Intercessor in heaven for us.
This, surely, was the mind of Paul, when he said, “He is able also to save to the uttermost, those who come unto God by Him—seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25).
Now I venture boldly to express a doubt whether modern Christians “look to Jesus” in this point of view—and make as much as they ought of His life of intercession. It is too often a dropped link in our present-day Christianity. We are apt to think only of the atoning DEATH and the precious blood, and to forget the LIFE and priestly office of our great Redeemer! It ought not to be so. We miss much by this forgetfulness of the whole truth as it is in Jesus.
What a mine of daily comfort there is in the thought—that we have an Advocate with the Father, who never slumbers or sleeps, whose eye is always upon us, who is continually pleading our cause and obtaining fresh supplies of grace for us, who watches over us in every company and place; and never forgets us, though we, in going to and fro, and doing our daily business, cannot always think of Him.
We have a great High Priest in heaven, who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and who bids us pour out our hearts before Him, and come to Him for grace to help in time of need.