Have you ever thought about what Jesus is doing right now? He ascended to the right hand of God… and then what? What has Jesus been up to since then?
The Bible actually tells us that Jesus is doing a lot. He is upholding the universe, ruling over all things, building the church, interceding for believers, and preparing a place for us after we die (Heb. 1:3; Acts 14:17; Eph. 1:15-23; Heb. 7:24-25; John 14:1-3).
In addition, one of the most encouraging things that Jesus is doing is advocating for us. The Apostle John wrote, “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). This passage teaches us that if you’re a Christian, when you sin Jesus is on your side, reaching out to God the Father for you. Whether you’re feeling crushed by guilt or overwhelmed with shame, Jesus knows what you’re experiencing, and he advocates for you.
What is an Advocate?
The word translated as “advocate” in 1 John 2:1 is the name Jesus uses for the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). The word has a broad range of meanings which include “comforter,” “counselor,” “helper,” and “assistant.” It’s clear from these words that an advocate is someone you want. An advocate has your interests in mind. They care about you and are willing to do what is necessary to help you. This is what Jesus is for you. When you sin, as John says, Jesus advocates on your behalf. This is a wonderful truth.
Theologian Dane Ortlund explains that Christ’s advocacy is “God’s way of encouraging us not to throw in the towel. Yes, we fail Christ as his disciples. But his advocacy on our behalf rises higher than our sins. His advocacy speaks louder than our failures. All is taken care of.”
We have a wonderful savior! Jesus’ advocacy brings encouragement in our darkest and most shameful moments. No matter how loudly our internal voices tell us that we’re unforgivable and beyond redemption, Jesus is louder. No matter how strongly Satan accuses us, Jesus is stronger. No matter how deeply our shame pulls us down into despair, Jesus is ready to lift us up, and he calls on the Father to rescue us. Jesus is on our side. Nothing can separate us from the love of our heavenly advocate (Rom. 8:31-39).
The Overabundance of God’s Love
In reflecting on the advocacy of Christ, we see just how abundant God’s love is for us. When it comes to our salvation, God doesn’t stop at the bare minimum. For example, God could have declared us righteous in his eyes (justified us legally) but kept us at arm’s length. He could have forgiven us but kept some distance in our relationship with him. Instead, God chooses to adopt us into his family as sons and daughters, and he welcomes us into a deep and meaningful relationship with him.
Likewise, Christ could intercede for sinners through his death on the cross, and that would be sufficient for salvation. But he does more: He advocates for us! He doesn’t atone for our sins then turn his back to us.
Sometimes this is how we think of Jesus. We believe that he loves us and is near us when we obey him, but he distances himself when we don’t. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Jesus is near to us, even when we fail to love God and to love others in spectacular ways. Jesus is near not to judge us or shame us for not measuring up, but to say to God the Father, “Let’s not give up on them, they are our beloved, let’s continue to love them and shape them into a more righteous person.” And do you know, God the Father never says no to his Son. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work in perfect harmony and unison to save us, and to bring us safely through life to our eternal home (Phil. 1:6).
Every step of the way Jesus is there with you, advocating on your behalf whenever you slip or stray. What a comfort, what a hope, what a savior!
 Ortlund, Dane. Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers (Wheaton: Crossway, 2020).