Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
The word "intercession" derives from two Latin words meaning "to move between". Thus, to intercede for someone is to figuratively place oneself between that person and a third party with whom that person is dealing, and to speak favorably of the person to the third party, so that the third party will think well of the person, and treat the person kindly. In a Biblical sense, the word is most often used in association with the manner in which the risen Christ pleads with God the Father for the salvation of those who have placed their faith in Him (thus acting as their "mediator", as Paul called Him in 1 Timothy 2:5); or in which the Holy Spirit helps Christians in their prayers to God, with (as Paul said in Romans 8:26) "groanings too deep for words". In an example from the Old Testament, Abraham interceded with God on behalf of Sodom (where Abraham's nephew Lot lived) when he pleaded for God not to destroy the righteous of the town along with the wicked (Genesis 18:22-33).
The standard Christian teaching of intercession (at least the form available for us to do) is rather limited and as a result not biblical. Intercessory prayer is biblical, but it is not all that intercession entails. The entire plan of salvation is intercession and every detail of redemption law, whether the sacrifices and the processes for presenting them, or sale to a redeemer of the convicted sinner who is unable to pay the restitution required by the law is all symbol detailing the processes involved in the process of redemption which Jesus fulfilled in part by going to the cross, and continues to fulfill by his work on our behalf in the courts of heaven. In the ministry of Jeremiah we see first a command not to become involved in intercessory prayer (Jer 7:16, 11:14, 14:11) because God had already determined that they were guilty and must go into a Babylonian captivity. Then we see him commanded to intercede for them later in Jer 28 to determine the level of captivity they must serve. The nation was already in captivity. Nebuchadnezzar had taken King Jehoiakim captive (along with Daniel and many other nobles and artisans) and placed Zedekiah on the throne as his vassal. The people were chafing under this captivity and seeking the opportunity to free themselves from this captivity God sent Jeremiah to the temple to intercede between himself and these people wearing a wooden yoke and telling them the captivity was from God and they were to submit to Nebuchadnezzar's rule. This was a message they considered to be a false prophecy because God would never discipline his chosen people. Therefore the prophet Hananiah removed the yoke from Jeremiah's neck, broke it and declared that the true word of the Lord was that Nebuchadnezzar's yoke would be thrown off of Judah within two years. At that point, Jeremiah began to leave but God told him to return with a specific message for Hananiah because of his false prophecy. Because he refused to obey God's message and made up a message of his own the people would be forced to serve under an iron yoke (defined in Dt 28:47-58) instead of a wooden yoke (never actually defined in scripture before this point) and would face exile in Babylon rather than remain in Judah paying tribute to Nebuchadnezzar. Also, Hananiah would be dead in less than a year. In Jeremiah 34 we see a similar intercession where God told the people they could serve their captivity in the land if they would simply observe a Sabbath year. The people started to observe one, allowing their bondservants to go out, but before the year was complete all the bond servants were once again in captivity. This was their last opportunity to set the level of their captivity, and by their actions, they chose exile instead of remaining in the land and paying tribute in a wooden yoke captivity. These two intercessions were on God's behalf to the people. As we understand intercession through Christian teaching intercession is only someone interceding on our behalf before God, and we do see numerous examples of this in scripture. The most basic of these is the example of the priest in the symbolic rituals of the sin offering. The many offerings are detailed in Leviticus 1-7. Most people think the sin offering and the burnt offering are the same thing. Nadab and Abihu apparently believed this and were killed in God's presence for burning the entire sin offering instead of eating the priest's portion of this offering (Lev 10:16-20). The priest takes the sins of the sinner upon himself by eating his portion of this offering and he then bears the guilt before God until the Day of Atonement. By refusing to eat this symbol these priests refused to play their proper part in the plan of salvation and these two paid for this with their lives. There is a lot involved in bearing the sins of others, and this is a priestly duty whether the priests admit it or not, but space here is too limited to discuss this further.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.