What Has Jesus Been Up To Since the Resurrection?
When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, it was not the end of His ministry. It actually was a beginning of a new phase of ministry for Him.
Some think that once Jesus ascended into Heaven, that He simply sat down and is waiting for the Father to lean over and say that it is time for the end of all things. That simply is not the case.
Understand this: Easter was a commencement; Easter was a beginning for Jesus.
Jesus came to earth to represent God to us. He came to earth to tell us all about God.
Now He has gone to Heaven to represent us before God.
In this four part study, we are looking at the different ministries that Jesus has been doing:
- Jesus, Our Mediator
- Jesus, Our Advocate
- Jesus, Our Heavenly Intercessor
- Jesus, Our Great High Priest
Jesus is working in heaven to get sinners saved through His ministry as our Mediator.
Then He is also working on our behalf as our defense attorney, our Advocate. He is defending us against the accusations that the enemy brings to God against us.
1 John 2:1 NKJV (1) My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Jesus is God and man. He can represent man to God and God to man and is the only One qualified to do that.
He is the only means of salvation. He is the only means of forgiveness. He is our only hope!
Intercession is one of Jesus’ present day ministries.
Jesus is busier on the behalf of Christians than He is with sinners.
Why only one ministry for the sinner and three for the Christian? Because the sinner is exactly where Satan wants them; they are already under his control and authority. It is Christians that he is after. Satan puts his effort and time to destroy and ruin Christians. Why? Because we are the only way that he has to try his best to get back at God. Therefore, Jesus is busier taking care of us.
Jesus’ intercessory ministry did not start when He got to heaven, some of it actually began while He was here in the earth.
Luke 22:31-32 NKJV And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. (32) But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Jesus’ prayers were answered. Peter was a natural born leader in that he was very influential among the disciples. After Peter came back to Jesus, Peter went on to become one of the greatest leaders in the Body of Christ. But Peter did go on to strengthen the brethren. He was a pastor’s pastor and leader in the Church.
James 1:5-8 NKJV If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Jesus is there to intercede for us against the onslaughts of Satan. That is the whole purpose of His intercession. It helps us to remain constant during the times of satanic attack.
Lucifer or Satan is a fallen angel. He was the highest ranking cherub among the angels.
He had authority over all other angels. He operated right under the Trinity. He rebelled against God and of course was cast out from heaven.
Luke 10:18 NKJV And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
He still has it in his mind to overthrow God and try and stop his plan in the earth. The only way that he can do that is to try and stop the plan of God from coming to pass in your life.
Jesus has overcome the enemy in every way and given that authority over to us so that we can control his effect in our lives.
You are on the earth praying to overcome the onslaughts of the enemy and Jesus is in heaven praying the same thing.
He began praying for us before he left his earthly ministry.
John 17:14-20 NKJV I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (15) I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (16) They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (18) As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (19) And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (20) “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
Notice that Jesus prayed that we might be sanctified. Sanctification is the same thing as spiritual growth. You are sanctified; you grow up, because of the Word of God.
Satan wants to keep you from growing up. He tries to do this by stealing the Word out of your heart.
Jesus was praying not only for the twelve disciples, he was praying for us in that prayer.
What is He praying for you?
- He is praying that you not be sifted like wheat.
- He is praying that you withstand against the onslaughts of the devil.
- He is praying that you will be sanctified through and by the Word.
- He is praying that you not be overtaken by the evil one.
Let’s look at how the Holy Spirit joins in and helps us get into agreement with Jesus our intercessor.
Romans 8:26-28 NKJV Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (28) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:26 NKJV Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Underline or circle “helps”, “weaknesses”, and “intercession”.
Weaknesses – Infirmities (asthenios) – generic which embraces all kinds of sicknesses and diseases
English (sick) which is applicable to all diseases or sicknesses.
Five categories of sickness that Jesus healed in His ministry and in this one greek word asthenios is encapsulated in all of these words, fit like a glove.
- Nosos – Matthew 4:23 (“sickness”) – terminal condition for which there is no natural cure. (example – cancer, AIDS)
Matthew 4:23 NKJV And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
- Malakian – Matthew 4:23 (“disease”) – disease which attacks the nerves, muscles, or bones. You can live with this disease but it is a crippling or debilitating disease.
- Kakos – Matthew 15:22 (“greviously”) greviously vexed with demon spirits – someone that is mentally confused or mentally ill.
Matthew 15:22 KJV And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
- Mastigos – Mark 5:34 (“plague”) normally translated “plague”. This is an old word of torture, where a victim would be beaten with a cat-of-nine-tails bringing them to the edge of death, take them back to their cell, let them heal until they are recovered, then take him back to beat him again. This would never be enough to kill him. (migraine headaches, allergic reaction, etc.)
Mark 5:34 KJV And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
- Arrhostos – Mark 6:13; 16:18; 1 Cor. 11:30 – someone so physically ill that they have lost all consciousness, comatose. (Mark 16:18) (Mark 6:5 “a few sick folk” those that were comatose).
Mark 6:5 KJV And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mark 16:18 KJV They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Romans 8:26 is about spiritual weaknesses not physical diseases. The Holy Ghost is actually saying that if you do not have the help of the Holy Ghost you are just like someone that is afflicted with all of these types of diseases.
Your infirmities (weaknesses) do not eliminate you from His help, they qualify you for His help.
From Sparkling Gems from the Greek – Volume 1 by Rick Renner:
March 29th –
To whom do you go for help when you feel trapped, cornered, or pinned against the wall because of a situation you’ve fallen into? In moments like that, do you feel overwhelmed with a sense of desperation, or do you know where to turn for help? I want to speak to you about the supernatural intercessory intercessory ministry of the Holy Spirit. But today I’m not talking about prayer when I use the phrase “intercessory ministry.” I am talking about a very special, unique work of the Holy Spirit that is available to help you every day —especially in times when you’re feeling backed into a corner by situations in life. Romans 8: 26 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” I would like to draw your attention to the word “intercession” in the middle of this verse. It is the Greek word huperentugchano, an old word that does not appear to exist outside early Christian literature. It is the picture of one who comes upon someone who has fallen into some kind of quandary. Upon discovering the trapped person’s dilemma, he swiftly swings into action to rescue and deliver the one who is in trouble. Therefore, the word huperentugchano conveys the idea of a rescue operation.
Paul uses this word here to tell us about a special work of divine intercession —a special ministry performed by the Holy Spirit Himself when He sees that you are at a loss for words or that you are trapped in a situation and don’t know how to get out. Suddenly and supernaturally, the Holy Spirit falls into that place with you. Now you are no longer facing the challenge by yourself, for the Holy Spirit has stepped into your dilemma and is initiating a rescue plan to get you out of that mess!
The Holy Spirit feels everything you feel. He understands the complete inadequacy you are experiencing. He knows about every battle you are facing. He willingly joins you in your circumstances, sharing your emotions and frustrations. Then He begins to put a supernatural plan of rescue into operation to get you out of your mess!
The middle phrase of Romans 8: 26 conveys this idea: “… The Spirit Himself falls into our difficulty with us, initiating a supernatural rescue operation to get us out of the mess we’ve fallen into.…” So the next time you get into trouble, there’s no need for you to sweat it out by yourself. The Holy Spirit is standing by, just waiting for you to ask for His assistance. Helping you is a part of His ministry, so never hesitate to say, “Holy Spirit, help me!” This is what the intercessory ministry of the Holy Spirit is all about! What challenges are you facing today? What problems seem bigger than your ability to handle by yourself? Come to grips with your need for supernatural assistance, and open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s help today. As you do, you will liberate Him to release His mighty power in you. An answer to every problem is just around the corner as you allow the Holy Spirit to work His supernatural ministry of intercession in your life!
August 5th –
Have you ever experienced a time when you didn’t know what to pray for yourself or for someone else? Have you ever been in a dilemma, and you didn’t know how to get out of it? Have you ever felt stuck in a predicament where you were required to make a decision, but you didn’t know what to do? Or have you ever said, “Lord, I’m so confused that I don’t even know how to pray! Lord, please help me”? If you have felt this way before, or perhaps even now, then I have great news for you today! The Holy Spirit wants to help you pray!
Romans 8: 26 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” This verse is packed with gems from the Greek that let us know the Holy Spirit wants to help us when we don’t know how to pray!
The word “helpeth” comes from the Greek word sunantilambetai, which is a very complex triple compound word. But the first part of the word is the Greek prefix sun, and this is what I want to draw your attention to right now because it’s so important for you to understand. The little Greek word sun is a very important word. It connects you to someone else. It carries the idea of partnership and cooperation.
For instance, in Second Corinthians 6: 1, when Paul writes, “We then, as workers together with him…,” he uses the word sunergos to depict our partnership with God. If Paul had wanted to depict a person who was working alone, he could have used only the word ergos, for by itself, this word would picture a single, solitary worker. But when the word sun is attached to the front of ergos, it is transformed into the word sunergos and pictures two or more people who are working together like partners on the same job. This is no longer the picture of a lonely, solitary worker; now there is an entire team working together to get a job accomplished. Because of this, some newer translations render Second Corinthians 6: 1 this way: “We then, as co-laborers together with him.…” There are literally scores of places where the word sun is used this way in the New Testament; however, this one sample from Second Corinthians 6:1 is sufficient to express the impact of the word, which conveys the ideas of partnership, cooperation, collaboration, teamwork, or a joint effort.
As Paul continues in Romans 8: 26, he uses the word “infirmities” to depict our spiritual predicament. The word “infirmities” is the Greek word astheneia, which really should be translated weaknesses. This word describes people who are weak, sick, or broken in their bodies, minds, or emotions. But Paul is not writing about a physical problem; he’s writing about a spiritual one. He identifies this problem when he says, “… for we know not what we should pray for as we ought….” The word “what” is the Greek word ti, which means the very little thing. It underscores our total ignorance about how to pray —demonstrating that we don’t even know how to pray about the little things, not to mention the larger issues in life. Because we are limited in our view, we are simply unable to see all the facts and details that are required to pray effectively.
This is why we need divine guidance and help. Praise God, we are not left to try to figure it all out on our own! Remember, the Greek word sun in the word “helpeth” lets us know that the Holy Spirit comes to partner, cooperate, collaborate, and join efforts with us in moments when we feel weak and helpless and don’t know how to pray!