What comfort do Christians have in and through temptation? How does the gospel apply when Satan tempts us? Thomas Brooks answered these questions brilliantly in his book, The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod. One of the comforts Christians have in and through affliction is Christ’s continual priestly intercession for us. Below is an edited summary of how Brooks explained this gospel truth. If Satan has been busy tempting you again lately, read carefully.
“When Satan is tempting you, Christ in the court of glory is interceding for you (Luke 22:31-32). Satan would have happily been shaking Peter up and down, as wheat is shaken in a fan; but Christ’s intercession frustrates Satan’s designed temptations. Whenever Satan stands at our side to tempt us, Christ stands at his Father’s side to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25 ‘he ever lives to make intercession.’).
“When Satan puts in his pleas and commences lawsuit upon lawsuit against us, Christ still undertakes our cause; he answers all his pleas, and dismisses Satan’s charges at every point. …When Satan pleads, ‘Lord! here are such and such sins thy children have committed! Here and here are such duties they have omitted! Here are such and such mercies they have not improved upon! Here are such and such sacraments they have slighted! Here are such and such motions of the Spirit which they have quenched!’
“When Satan places those charge against us, divine justice answers: “All this is true, but Christ has appeared on their behalf; he has pleaded their cause, he has fully and fairly answered whatever has been objected and given complete satisfaction to the utmost farthing, so that here is no accusation nor condemnation that can stand in force against them. ‘Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.’ Christ’s intercession should be the soul’s anchor-hold in time of temptation. Jesus is most active for you when Satan is most busy tempting you.”
Without Christ’s continual intercession, we would no doubt be “sifted as wheat” by Satan. We’d give into temptation at every turn. But the good news is that Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us. He prays for us, that our faith may not fail. And because he is the Son of God, the perfect and eternal High Priest who lives forever, his intercession is effective. We may be greatly tempted, but Christ’s intercession is greater.
The above quote is found in The Works of Thomas Brooks, volume 1, pages 367-368.
rev shane lems