Christ's appearing before the throne in heaven as the Advocate of his people, presenting his finished work as the reason why their prayers should be heard and their persons accepted in him, Isa 53:12; Ro 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1Jo 2:1. In thus pleading for sinners as the one Mediator, his work is perfect; it precludes all help a virgin, saints, or angels; and will certainly prevail. The Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers is said to intercede for them, Ro 8:26, when he puts words into their mouths, and holy desires into their hearts, such as they would otherwise fail of, but which are according to the will of God and acceptable to him through Christ.
I. Christ's intercession:
(1) In a general sense, for transgressors: Isa 53:12; Lu 23:34, for His murderers.
(2) In a special sense, for His believing people alone: "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me" (Joh 17:9). His prayer of compassion is for self destroying sinners. His pleading as Advocate is for His believing people, claiming their justification as a matter of right, on the ground of His righteousness. "We (who walk in the light as He is in the light) have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous" (1Jo 2:1, compare 1Jo 1:7; Ro 8:33-34; Heb 7:25). He died once for all, atoning for all sin; but "He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him," and for them alone. As examples of His intercession compare Isa 62:1, for Zion; Zec 1:12,14; Ps 69:6-7, "let not them that wait on Thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed, for My sake," etc.
II. The Holy Spirit's intercession: Ro 8:26-27. Christ intercedes for us above; the Holy Spirit, in Christ's personal absence, intercedes on earth in us. Hence, the Holy Spirit has the same title as Christ, the Paraclete (which in KJV is translated "Advocate" in the case of Christ, "Comforter" in the case of the Holy Spirit; the original word is the same for both). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prayer in every one below for whom Christ pleads above. The Holy Spirit is said to intercede for us with groanings, because He makes us to "groan," or "sigh." Knowing our needs better than we, He breathes in our prayers spiritual desires which find utterance in inarticulate sighings; these the Searcher of hearts knoweth, and interprets and answers accordingly; for whatever aspirations the Holy Spirit breathes in us are "according to the will of God."
III. Man's intercession: Ro 11:2, Elijah interceding against Israel, as elsewhere for the people (Jas 5:17-18). Paul often asks the prayers of, Christians in behalf of himself and other ministers, and the extension of Christ's kingdom (2Th 3:1; Eph 6:18-19).
The word is from ?????????, which signifies 'to meet with, to intercede.' It refers to the intercession of Christ for His saints, while in their present state, to bring them into conformity with the place justifying forgiveness has given them, also to raise them above their trials, and lead them on as priests into the blessed joys and occupations of the sanctuary. Ro 8:34; Heb 7:25. The Holy Spirit also, when they know not what to pray for as they ought, makes intercession for the saints with groanings which cannot be uttered. Ro 8:26-27. In 1Ti 2:1 we are instructed to make intercession for all men. It is remarkable that a substantive (nteuxi" -->????????) formed from the above verb is used in 1Ti 4:5, where food is sanctified by the word of God and 'prayer,' or, as it there means, reverent intercourse with Him.