My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the father in our defense—Jesus Christ the righteous One. 1 John 2:1
When things are tough it’s always better to have someone by your side. Whether we are trying to get a job or promotion, get the best medical care or ask for leniency when we’ve done wrong it makes a difference to have someone to advocate for us and help others see the best in us.
Have you ever experienced this? Perhaps as a child you and your siblings stood together in front of a parent or other adult to explain behavior or ask for forgiveness and a lesser punishment. Maybe one of you stood in the place of another, willing to take the punishment for him or her.
As humans we are sinful by nature and our sin keeps us from having fellowship with God. He is perfect and cannot allow any sinfulness into Heaven. But God loves His children so much He wanted to make a way for us to enter Heaven in spite of our sin. God had to have a perfect substitution who could stand in our place.
That substitution was Jesus.
Because Jesus was the substitution for our sin He is also our advocate. When we sin and then ask forgiveness Jesus stands between us and our Holy Father so that God sees the perfect substitution of Jesus instead of our sin.
Because Jesus is our Advocate we are also justified—declared or made right in the sight of God. Some define being justified this way—it’s just as if we’d never sinned.
When we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas we are celebrating so much more than the nativity scene we recreate each year. We are celebrating our substitute—our Advocate, knowing that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord He will stand in for us, allowing us to some day spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
This is good news indeed!