Jesus Christ as an Advocate?
Jesus Christ accepted the role of our advocate to the Father. An advocate is someone who pleads for another person.
John explained this role in the Bible:
“(T)hese things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
God is a just God. He’s given us commandments and we’re expected to obey. Since He is also a loving God and knows us perfectly, He knows we will not keep all the laws and will sin during our life. Justice would require us to be punished for every sin and we would be unable to return to God’s presence. Jesus taught, “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt 19:17).
The Lord also commanded, “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). Since it would be impossible for any mortal person to refrain from sin, God lovingly provided a Savior for us. This allows justice to be tempered with mercy.
Only Jesus could be our Savior. He would come not as the child of two mortal parents, but as the child of a mortal mother and God. This combination of mortal and divine attributes would allow Him to experience the things we experience including death. It would also allow Him to live sinlessly and to choose death. No one would be able to take His life. Jesus said so Himself in John.
“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:18).
Jesus gave His life as a gift. He took on Himself all the sins of the world and then died for us. This satisfied the demands of justice.
After our deaths, it will be Jesus who will judge us. He is the most qualified judge because He lived here on earth, shared our experiences, and atoned for our sins.
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).
His judgment will be completely fair. The Bible is clear in our responsibility for keeping the commandments.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Our responsibility, then, is to seek out the truth, learn to live it, and repent when we fall short. As we walk along this path, we need to rely on Jesus’ sacrifice. Only His grace can save us.
In the Great Intercessory Prayer, Jesus demonstrated this role for us:
“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:6-9).
If we live as obediently as we can, repenting when we fall short, we can have confidence that Jesus will plead our case to God at judgment day.