THE GOOD NEWS: Jesus is our advocate before God
So often we need advocates. We need reliable support from people to convince or give proof that we are worthy.
God created man worthy of life. We know that this isn’t how things went. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. The world did not stay perfect. Man did not remain worthy of life. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and by doing so ushered sin and death into the world.
None of us can deny it. Sin is in our lives. For all were born in sin. All have fallen short of the glory of God. All deserve damnation. And if we try to convince ourselves in any other way, what does John say in 1 John 1:1-2:2 we do? Deceive ourselves.
And God knows this. He knows all ours sins. Even if we can deceive ourselves, we cannot deceive him. We are each justly damnable in his eyes. And what can we do to convince him otherwise? It’s impossible to stop sinning. It’s impossible to undo sin. It’s impossible to trick or deceive him. It’s impossible to make up for sin. There is nothing we can do to convince God we are worthy of life. The raw fact is this: all of us are worthy of one thing by our own merit: Eternal Death. If we were to say anything different we’d be lying to ourselves.
So what hope do we have? What do we need?
An advocate. We need someone that will stand before God on our behalf. Someone that will show to God our innocence and our worthiness of life everlasting. And the best news? We have one. His name is Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to be our advocate. He knew our sin and unworthiness. He loved us to take on our flesh, sin, and unworthiness. He loved us enough to march to the cross, be abandoned by the Father, die, and to rise again. He did all this so he could be our advocate.
In Baptism Christ became our advocate. He now stands before the Father on our behalf! By baptism, by faith, we have been made worthy of life. We have been blessed with eternity. For we each bear Christ’s perfection, his worthiness and obedience, his righteousness and favor. Each of us is still sinful in this life, and we’re deceiving ourselves to say anything contrary. But the good news in Christ is this: if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and he forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
We have an advocate and he is perfect. We have an advocate and he is faithful. Faithful to unite us to him. To die our death. To rise for us. To gift us his Spirit. To feed us with his body and blood. To hear our prayers and answer. To stand before God on our behalf. To forgive us our sins. To strengthen our faith. To never leave us nor forsake us. To bear our burdens and anxieties. To heal our wounds and brokenness. And to return again. Not to condemn us. Not to give us what we deserve by our own merits. But to give us what God promises us for Christ’s sake.
In the greatest and most mysterious exchange, as Christ took on our unworthiness and died the death we deserve, We now have the life that he deserved: life forever with our God and King in heaven. It’s ours. Promised by baptism. Sealed in Christ’s blood. Proclaimed through our confession. Earned by our advocate. Ours by faith.
The Rev. Logan Landes is assistant pastor at Grace Lutheran Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.