Our advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous

John says: “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).

One of the most important things in life is to have someone to speak on your behalf. This is why people ask for letters of recommendation when you apply for a job. This is why a woman might ask around before accepting an invitation to go on a date with a man. This is why people read the reviews before purchasing a product on Amazon. Having someone to speak on your behalf means that you are not alone to fend for yourself in the world. It means someone can make your case for you and win over the favor of others.

When we sin, we sin against God. John teaches us that we have someone who speaks on our behalf with God the Father in case we sin. This is God’s own Son: Jesus Christ the Righteous. This is very impressive. John of course writes that God sent His Son into the world for our sake (1 John 4:10). What this means is that God Himself provides an advocate for us in case we should sin against Him. God cares about us so much and loves us so deeply that He makes provision for us in case we should ever go against Him by sinning. He gives us His own Son, who is righteous, to be the advocate for our sins. By this God shows us that He cares more about pursuing and cultivating His friendship with us than He does about preserving His own honor.

We might abandon a friendship if the other person insults us enough. There is a limit to human kindness. Perhaps none of us will put up with mistakes and errors and insults forever. We might think that God is the same way. Perhaps at this point He is done with us. But God provides His own Son as an advocate for us in case we should ever sin against Him. His righteous Son, who never sinned and did nothing wrong, is our advocate before Him. We thus have by God’s own provision the best possible spokesperson pleading our case before God. Could God ever say “no” to His own dearly beloved Son? And yet He sends His Son to be our advocate for when we sin against Him. This same Son looks to the Father and says of us: “I died for him. I shed my blood for her. These people are Mine now, and so they are also Yours.”

This is how God sets aside every possible obstacle to our enjoying friendship with Him. As Catherine of Siena once said, God gives the impression that He loves us so much that He can hardly live without us. Or as the hymn says: “I know that while in heaven He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart.”