I received an odd letter many years ago. Petitions and prayer requests were anything but unusual to me back then. Infact, they were quite usual. I worked in a religious publishing house at the time, and my job involved reading and answering the assortment of letters that came every day from all sorts of people.
But I never forgot a letter containing a poignant request. A total stranger—a man I’d never seen in my life—begged me to intercede on his behalf for forgiveness. It was this man’s hope that perhaps God would listen to me.
I didn’t know what kind of person this man was, or what kind of life he led, but it was obvious that he desperately needed a Savior. He knew God was aware of the kind of life he was leading, but believed God would not hear him or could forgive him.
He yearned for forgiveness and an opportunity to get right with God. He knew he needed to live a different life, but though he tried, he couldn’t change. The reality of his sinfulness crippled his faith and left him feeling completely alienated from God. He knew of nowhere to go to ask for help, no other way of reaching out to God than through this letter—what he believed was his last hope for salvation.
I remember how my heart ached for this man as I read his feelings of worthlessness and despair.
Their burden drains them of peace and reduces them to living in constant shame and fear. If they only knew the truth.
He wasn’t alone. Thousands, if not millions, wander the world today bearing the burden of condemnation. Their burden drains them of peace and reduces them to living in constant shame and fear. If they only knew the truth. If they only knew that the Son of God died for them and is ready to intercede for them before the Father. I could only imagine how different this man’s life would be if he could only hear the Son of God praying for him.
I am humbled by the thought that Jesus prays for me; that He asks His Father that I might not fall short of His glory. I imagine Christ looking through the pages that cover the millennia of human history. I imagine Him looking through the names written in the book of life, tracing them with His finger, making plans for eternity. Then He comes upon my name, His mouth curves up in a smile, and He speaks my name out loud.
Jesus says that even before I was formed in my mother’s womb, He knew me and wanted me to be saved. “In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me” (John 16:26, 27).
Can you imagine Christ praying for you? If you find that hard to believe, take a look at John 17. There you will find the wonderful prayer He prayed for His people.
Despite His agony in Gethsemane, Christ looked beyond the torture and death that awaited Him at Calvary. He fastened His thoughts on the destiny of humanity, and with a deep intensity of emotion, pleaded with the Father for our salvation. That prayer is saturated with the most pure form of love ever known.
We don’t have to hesitate about coming to Christ, for He will never reject us. He intercedes for us as we are. As long as we can hear Him pleading for us, we need never fear that Christ will cast us out.