Greetings! In today’s class, we shall study about the intercessory prayer offered by Christ to His Father, just before His trial and crucifixion.
John 17 Is For You
Let’s begin by reading about what took place in Heaven on the ascension day. We will read from Desire of Ages, pages 833 and 834. Here, you remember, are quoted those beautiful words from Psalm 24, as the angels at the gate raised the challenge, “Who is the King of glory?” And the escorting angels sang, “The Lord of hosts; He is the King of glory.” And so Jesus, with that angelic escort, enters the gates of pearl, and comes in before the Father. And here, friends, the representatives of the entire universe are gathered on this occasion:
“There is the throne and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds are assembled. … All are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.
“But He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. … Now He declares: Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will, O My God. I have completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied, ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am’” The Desire of Ages, pages 833-834.
What is it that is in His heart? Once again, this longing desire that you and I shall be there with Him. And He must hear again, and the universe must hear, assembled through its representatives, the solemn pledge of the Father that the sacrifice of the Son is sufficient, and that Christ is guaranteed that He can bring with Him to that throne every one of His children down here in this world. And Christ would not accept it until it was settled before all the universe, that you and I could be there with Him. That is love, isn’t it? That is love.
Well, He entered upon His priestly work, and He has been there now for 1989 years. The Bible tells us in Hebrews that He ever lives to make intercession for us. Have you ever wondered what Jesus prays up there in the Sanctuary? Have you ever wondered what He says? Would you like to know? I will give you a little glimpse, friends. In the Spirit of Prophecy comments, as given us in the SDA Bible Commentary, is this wonderful statement:
“This chapter …” [This 17th of John. That is what we are studying, John 17:24.] “… contains the intercessory prayer offered by Christ to His Father just before His trial and crucifixion. This prayer is a lesson regarding the intercession that the Saviour would carry on within the veil when His great sacrifice in behalf of men, the offering of Himself, should have been completed” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5, page 1145.
What is this prayer in John 17? This is a sample prayer of the intercession of Christ within the veil. If you want to hear what Christ is praying there at the mercy seat, read this 17th chapter of John. You will hear. And oh, as we have seen, the climax of it all is what?
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am” John 17:24.
He is still talking about that. This is still His desire every day. This is what He is praying for. Ah, this is love, friends. This is love. He wants us with Him. The heavenly Bridegroom is longing for His bride. From Heaven He came, and sought her, to be His holy bride. With His own life, with His own blood, He bought her; and for her life He died.
Now, listen friends, you and I know that we are in the closing hour of human history. The Sanctuary is about to close. He that is righteous will be righteous still, and he that is filthy will be filthy still. And then Jesus is going to come. But you and I know that in between that close of probation and His actual coming, there is going to be a little period known as the time of trouble. You know that we are to be tested. We are to go through Jacob’s trouble. And then, right at the moment when it seems that the powers of earth (under the leadership of the dragon, and the beast, and the false prophet) try to kill all God’s people in one night, God speaks from Heaven. We look up through the open space in Orion. We see the city of God, and Jesus standing there before the Father. And we hear Him. We are down here in this world, still in the flesh, but we look up through that glorious opening, and see Jesus and we hear Him. Do you know what we are going to hear Him say? Oh, friends, listen while I read it to you from Great Controversy:
“By the people of God a voice, clear and melodious, is heard, saying, ‘Look up,’ and lifting their eyes to the heavens, they behold the bow of promise. The black, angry clouds that covered the firmament are parted, and like Stephen they look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and the Son of man seated upon His throne. In His divine form they discern the marks of His humiliation; and from His lips they hear the request presented before His Father and the holy angels: ‘[Father,] I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am’” Great Controversy, page 636.
Oh, yes. There it is, friends. He prayed for us in Gethsemane, that we might be with Him. He prayed for us on the resurrection morning, that we might be with Him. He prayed for us on Ascension Day, as He was welcomed in Heaven, that we might be with Him. He has been praying that prayer all the time in this intercession, within the veil. And now, with the Sanctuary closed and the day of reunion so near, there in Jacob’s trouble, as He prays to His Father for you and me, He says, “Oh Father, I want that reunion day. I want the hour to come when I can go and get My bride and bring her home. I want My people with Me.” Ah, thank God, friends, that prayer will be answered. All this is why He came to earth. This is why He died. This is why He rose and went back to Heaven. And this is why He is coming again.
You remember He said in John 14:2, 3: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. … I go to prepare a place for you” John 14:2. The whole thing is for us, friends. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also” John 14:3.
See what He wants? Oh, listen. While He is getting the place ready for us, He is getting us ready for the place. Aren’t you glad? I would hate to go up there dirty, filthy, perverted, twisted, wouldn’t you? Thank God for His glorious gospel which washes from sin, changes the perverted, twisted character, and makes it like the original creation, only closer to Him in fellowship. Through eternal ages, we shall know the fellowship of One who joined the divine nature and the human nature in Himself, who died for us, and who could not be reconciled to life unless we could share it with Him.
This is how much He loves you, my friend. When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. See, from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down; did e’er such love and sorrow meet? Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Since I, who was undone and lost, have pardon thro’ His name and word; forbid it, then, that I should boast, save in the cross of Christ, my Lord. Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a tribute far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.
Do you know, friends, what we can give Him today? We can give Him what He paid all this for, our love, our fellowship, our friendship. If we mean business on this, let’s make a full surrender, just now.
What Stands Out To You?
What stands out to you from today’s lesson, that can help you in entering into a C.I.P. with Jesus? Please let us know, in the comment section, below! God bless!
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies