Representational Intercession

[The following is an excerpt from chapter nine of my book He Who Bleeds.
The chapter is titled Intercession Within the Veil.]

 

A Prayer Closet Becomes a Holy Place

A Prayer Closet Becomes a Holy Place

Under the Old Covenant priests offered representational atonement.  Under the New Covenant we are His priests, and as such, we may offer representational intercession.  We may offer ourselves in the victim’s role in prayer.  The prayer closet transforms spiritually into an entrance to the Holy of Holies.  We may bring into that holy place the blood of many innocent victims representatively by our sacrificial prayer.

Intercessors can be counted as a life laid down for another.  This is the call of our Lord Jesus to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

What is happening inside that holy corporate prayer closet?

As the priests of old made atonement, we are making intercession with our Lord. The corporate cry for mercy rings in God’s ears.

We have shown that the victim may waive the Law’s sentence.  The victim may release vengeance away from the prescription set in stone and into the hands of the Righteous Judge.

The prescriptions of the Law are weak[1].  They cannot purge sin from the conscience of the sinner[2].  Only the Merciful Almighty can find the prescription that will purge each sinner.  Only He can bring the sinner to full repentance.  His vengeance will not stop short of a purged conscience.

The ministry of reconciliation is committed unto us.

Reconciliation of the world can only be accomplished
through holy vengeance released by intercessors
into the hands of Him who said, I will repay.

 

 

[1] Romans 8:3  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

[2] Hebrews 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

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A Wave Begins

Copyright Greg Stablein

Photo credit Greg Stablein

A wave begins at a point of agitation,
like a ripple in a pond.

What if your prayer is the source of agitation?
Imagine the following verse in terms of a chemical bond.

 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  -Jesus in Matthew 18:18

Jesus cursed the fig tree, and by the next day it had withered. (Mark 11:20-26)

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 
Mark 11:22

God, Elohim, is the Supreme Ruler, the Ultimate Authority. Have faith in the Ultimate Authority. Say to the mountain,

“Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea…” 
Mark 11:23

Jesus continues:

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24

Jesus sets parameters for this kind of authority in prayer.

First, we may notice the word desire. This is not just whatever you want. This prayer is for something that is due by your actual authority to ask for such a thing.

desire – Strong’s Concordance #154: to demand what is due

Second, the authority to demand in prayer exists only in love and forgiveness.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. 

Mark 11:25-26

There you have it. The problem of your unanswered prayer may not be your not lack of faith. Two other hindrances to your prayers could be:

  1. You must have the authority to ask for the thing you pray for.
  2. You must forgive those who trespass against you.

Jesus demonstrated this principle also in the healing of the paralytic man.

They brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”  3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”  4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  5 “For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?  6 “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” — then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”  7 And he arose and departed to his house.  8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men. 
Matthew 9:2-8

The chief priests asked Jesus,

By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?
Mark 11:28

Jesus could heal because Jesus forgave.

The intercessor forgives and therefore is authorized to heal.

He who has the authority to forgive is he who has the authority to heal.

Picture+4[1]A wave begins at a point of agitation,
like the ripple in the pond.

What if your prayer is the source of agitation?
Imagine the following verse in terms of a chemical bond.

 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  -Jesus in Matthew 18:18

 

Jesus the Sin Offering and the Priest

Part of this post is an excerpt from my book He Who Bleeds available on amazon.com

Is God angry, raging and vengeful? Animal sacrifice? What a barbaric custom!  Gruesome, even cruel.  No wonder many Christian theologians separate the angry God of the Old Testament from the loving God of the New Testament.   

Who is Who?

There is a gospel in the Old Testament.  Jesus opened the Old Testament scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection.

Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  Luke 24:27

What is animal sacrifice?  I mean, what is it all about?   I know it is representative, but who is who?  I mean, who is the animal representing?  Maybe he is representing me, and I should die for my sin, but the innocent animal dies in my place so God can forgive me.  Is this really what is going on?

What if, in the gospel according to the First Covenant, the sacrificial animal takes the representative role of the victim of that sin?  To find the answer we must look into the ceremony of Atonement.

Atonement is a Legal Term

The Hebrew word in the Strong’s concordance is #3722 kaphar[1].  An example of kaphar as a legal term is in Isaiah 28:18 “your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;” A covenant is a legally binding agreement, like a contract.  Disannulment  brings the contract to a legal end.  Disannulment frees the signers from further contract liability.  Disannulment is atonement, kaphar.

Atonement as referred to in Mosaic Law is the waiving of the required legal punishment.  Sins for which atonement is made are covered.  They are covered from the punishment of the law.  The process of atonement does not negate the need for repentance and restitution.  On the contrary, confession, repentance and making restitution are necessary steps to atonement[2].  According to Leviticus, after these first steps had been accomplished, then the priest shall make an atonement for him.

The Priest is the Acting Intercessor

How did the priest make an atonement for the sinner?  What did the priest do?  

In a case where the sinner confesses and repents to the victim, as long as the victim is satisfied with the repentance, they may declare peace with one another, and the incident is over. Like Jesus said in Matthew 5:25,  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him.  There is no need for the law to step in and provide an intercessor.   But what if the sinner repents, and still the victim refuses to make peace?  Then there is need for the law to provide an intercessor.  The intercessor acts in the place of the defrauded victim and makes an atonement for the repentant sinner.   

The earthly pattern that God gave Moses for atonement had two parts.  These were two actors, so to speak, in this earthly pre-enactment of the necessary action in the heavens.  The sacrificial animal and the priest both represent the victim of the sin.  The animal loses his life as the victim who has been defrauded of a portion of his life.  The priest, in the place of the victim, makes atonement, in other words, waives the charges against the sinner. 

            Ceremonially, two actors were needed because the animal could lay down his life, but could not intelligently waive the charges.  The priest could waive the charges, but could not die or suffer equal defraudment for every sin he atoned.  So, the priest was required to eat the sin offering[3] to make himself one with the animal who was taking on the position of the victim.  It was imperative upon the priest that he eat the sin offering, and only the priest who offered the sacrifice was allowed to eat it. 

Because the priest representatively becomes the victim of my sin, he has the right to press charges against me or to waive the charges.  

What did he do?  The priest waived the charges in the stead of the victim and atonement was made.

            Jesus was able to be both sin offering and priest.  Jesus was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities[4].  He accepted the weight of pain and grief caused by every sin ever committed bearing it in his own body on the cross.  He is the Victim of all our sin, and He could choose to press charges or to waive the charges against us.  Thank God, he chose to intercede in the proceedings that were against us making atonement for our sins, not pressing the charges.  Only the victim or one who legally stands in the victim’s stead can do that.  Jesus is the True Victim who holds the right to forgive every sin; and he is our High Priest who “ever liveth to make intercession for us”.[5] 

Let’s go back to where we started.  Is this a barbaric picture of animal sacrifice?  Gruesome, even cruel?  Maybe; but who is cruel, God? or the sinner? 

Sin is cruel, and Jesus came to take away sin.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29  

[1] 3722  kaphar {kaw-far’} From Strong’s Concordance
Meaning:  1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch 1a) to coat or cover with pitch  1b1) to cover over, pacify, propitiate 1b2) to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for 1b3) to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites 1c1) to be covered over 1c2) to make atonement for 1d) to be covered
Origin:  a primitive root
Usage:  AV – atonement 71, purge 7, reconciliation 4, reconcile 3, forgive 3, purge away 2, pacify 2, atonement…made 2, merciful 2, cleansed 1, disannulled 1, appease 1, put off 1, pardon 1, pitch 1; 102

[2] Leviticus 6:4-7  Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,  5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.  6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:  7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.

[3] Leviticus 6:26  The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

[4] Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

[5] Hebrews 7:25  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.

Did God Turn His Back on Jesus?

What was going on in Heaven while Jesus was on the cross?

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. KJV

I see the torn form of our Savior hanging near breathless and contorted crying out, “My God! My God!  Why have you forsaken me?”

Did God turn His back on Jesus as he was hanging on the cross?
Answer: God so loved the world.

God loved the world.  …So what was God doing while Jesus groaned in agony alone.

In John 5:19, Jesus told his disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. “ NKJV

God did not turn His back.  God watched and waited.  God groaned in Heaven to forgive us.  He loved the world.  Jesus labored in his grief and suffering until his suffering reached the height of God’s suffering for all mankind, all His created children.  When the suffering of the Only Begotten Son equaled the suffering of His Father, then Father God called the question, “What say you, Jesus?  What say you?”

-They aren’t worth it!  They will always hurt us and each other!  They hate, steal, murder!-

No, Jesus answers God’s question with,

“Father, forgive them!”

The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do.  Jesus saw the aching heart of Father God.  He chose to be one in His pain.  Jesus forgave the men who drove the nails into his hands, the ones who had lied about him in court, Peter who had denied him three times, his disciples who ran away when soldiers came to arrest Jesus.  He forgives all of us who have betrayed him over and over again.

Jesus does what he sees the Father doing.

Mark 2:3-10-11  “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he said to the paralytic– I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

 

Justice, A Two Sons Diptych -Book

Category: Visionary Fiction
by Susan Ector Ward

…compelling, and engaging.
You manage to capture the reader’s emotions, and make them want to finish the stories.
…clever analogy … very thought provoking … intellectual…
Linda and Bob Harrington,
authors of The Soul Solution and other titles

Book Cover Front       Innocence, unbridled passion, betrayal, hurt, and healing are all here in straightforward simplicity driving the diptych into deep contrasts. Rich imagery with dynamic rhythm and intense passions bring the reader to a new contemplation of justice.

       The two stories it contains draw attention to the sharp contrast within our concept of Justice. In thinking back and forth between the two stories, the reader begins to ask, “What is Justice?” The diptych uses the son in each part to reveal the nature of the father, who is the justice system of each.

       This contemplation of Justice is very important as our world develops a global culture.

       Justice is not only intended for the deeply contemplative reader. Although narrative poetry is not the usual fare of the casual reader, its conversational style is easy to read. The speed, rhythm and imagery, as well as the intense passions of the characters, will keep the attention of every reader from its beginning to its eerie ending.

 Nearly every art form uses diptychs.

-from Regarding Diptychs, an excerpt:
“The transaction is silent, but the viewer receives responsibility in the investigation. The viewer is needed. The viewer completes the diptych.”
by Eric Dean Wilson, in The American Reader anthology

       The most common form is the hinged picture frame containing two related pictures. Eric Dean Wilson says that the diptych is really a triptych where the mind of the viewer acts as the center focal image as the viewer processes the relationship between the two parts.

       Justice, A Two Sons Diptych is available in paperback and e-book at Amazon.com.

Author’s Apologia for Justice, A Two Sons Diptych

The Word of Reconciliation

For Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement

Only one who has accepted the pain of suffering can understand the forgiveness of reconciliation.

 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11

To forgive without the requirement of repentance is the beginning of reconciling the world to God.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;
and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Scenario: A wife is falsely accused by her husband. (It makes no difference if the matter is small or great.) She recounts the facts to him as she knows them. He disregards her words and makes more cutting statements.
She may:
1. grow angry and hold him to pay by her angry coldness until he admits his wrong at which time she will forgive him.
2. forgive his sin not holding him to its charges.

What will become of this husband? What will become of this wife? If the wife makes the choice  of forgiveness # 2, the husband will be committed to the merciful justice of God, instead of being held to the punishment of the lawful charges of the wife. The wife, in taking the second choice, is committing herself to Him who judges righteously, according to I Peter 2:23.

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;
but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

NO NEED TO FEAR
There is nothing in this world or the next that can induce Father God to ignore the suffering of the innocent.
He will avenge the innocent, but He is just.

Will He allow the perpetrator to fall into double jeopardy?

REQUIRE VENGEANCE  OR  RELEASE VENGEANCE

Either the victim will require the vengeance of the Law, or the victim will release vengeance into the hands of The Righteous Judge. Reconciliation of the earth can only be accomplished through all vengeance being released into the hands of Him who said, “I will repay.”(1) The prescriptions of the Law are weak (2). They cannot purge sin from the conscience of the sinner. Only the Merciful Almighty can find the individual prescription that will purge each sinner(3). Only He can bring the sinner to complete repentance. His vengeance will not stop short of a purged conscience.

He has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

FOOTNOTES:

(1)Romans 12:19for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

Psalm 94:1  “ O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.”

(2)Romans 8:3  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

(3) Hebrews 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The Warrior Maiden – A Poem

Brandishing burnished Sword
Transparent in armour of Light
There stands the Warrior Maiden
Prepared for the darkest of night.

A curtain sliced through;
A way opened up;
Enters the Maiden
And drains the bloody cup.

Her life on the Altar
Long now has lain,
But up she has risen
Atonement to gain

For those who have hurt her
By whom she was slain.
She calls to the Judge,
“Forgive them my pain.”

Light pierces through;
The Earth opens up;
Stands forth her Beloved,
“You have drunk of my Cup.”

The two who are one
All infirmities feeling
Now spread out their hands
In forgiveness and healing.

Ector Ward, copyright 2006

Thank you Thursday Poets Rally for the Perfect Poets Award.

I nominate Harry Nicholson for the next award.