This title may seem strange. And I agree. So, bear with me.
Reading a book about Christ, I was enthralled at the idea of Jesus as our advocate. My heart came alive as I thought about this powerful truth of Christ’s advocacy. Now to be clear, this book—Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund—is addressing Jesus as standing in our behalf. He defends us before the Father when we are sinful and unclean—sinful on our own merit but clean because of Jesus and his shed blood. We call it justification when we are redeemed by Jesus’ payment of our debt.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1
We need an advocate to defend us before the Father. Ortlund contends that we keep Jesus busy. He juxtaposes intercession and advocacy. Intercession is Jesus’ ongoing prayer for his followers. Advocacy is provided on an as needed basis. You fail, Jesus goes again before the Father to defend you. He is your advocate. You sin again. Jesus advocates. Ortlund’s book is focused on Jesus’ gentleness. His lowliness. His humble, tender love. He loves us so much that not only did he die for us, he advocates for us every time we need him to defend us.
Jesus stays busy.
But, it occurred to me how transferable this truth is to any time of dire need. When we are sinful—without excuse—we need an advocate. True. This is the heart of the gospel. Sin is a result of the brokenness of this world. Sin is general—our sin. And sin is specific—my sin.
Loss is related closely because it, too, is a result of brokenness. Ruin descended upon mankind—the Fall of Man. Brokenness. Sin entered the world. And with it, loss burst onto the scene. Sin gave birth to death. A broken world delivers pain and suffering.
“Christ, as Priest, acts in time of peace; but Christ, as Advocate, in times of broils, turmoils, and sharp contentions…” John Bunyan, The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate
And Jesus stays busy advocating for us who are victims of the loss and brokenness, the pain and the suffering prevalent in our world. Busy advocating for us when we sin and busy advocating for us when the brokenness of the world born of sin plays havoc with our lives—our spouses, our children, our family members, our friends, our bodies, our jobs, our homes.
Jesus is a busy advocate.
“His advocacy rears up when occasion requires it.” Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly
Dane Ortlund goes on to say, “It’s difficult to capture the meaning of parakletos [the Greek word translated advocate] with just one English word.” In translated works, it shows up as helper, advocate, counselor, comforter, and companion. To be honest, these are some of the most beautiful words you’ll ever hear.
Jesus is busy, yes. But, he’s also near. Near as our helper. Near as our advocate. Near as our counselor. Near as our comforter. Near as our companion. All beautiful expressions of our near and busy Christ.
“Are you walking alone through the shadows dim? Place your hands in the nail-scarred hand; Christ will comfort your heart, put your trust in him…” B. B. McKinney, “The Nail-Scarred Hand”