The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “…Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. …” And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, … And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. … And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” …
– Exodus 32:9-33:6 (ESV)
As I was reading this passage, I noticed that Moses, while he got very angry with Aaron and the people for making the golden calf, he never let them know how close they were to being destroyed but for his intercession. It wasn’t until the next chapter (verses 1-5) when the people heard God speak that they realized how dire their situation was. Have you ever been in a situation where you were unaware of extreme danger until after it passed? Did your heart skip a few beats and your skin crawl?
Moses was a great interceder, but he’s nothing compared to Jesus Christ.
Jesus spent a lot of time alone in prayer. I’ve wondered at times what He prayed for. I like to think that, among other things, He was praying for each of His disciples individually (like when He told Peter He prayed that his faith not fail).
I wonder what He asks for me? That my faith also fail not? Probably. But like Moses, He also interceeds for my sins that I am unaware of. Like everyone, I do not comprehend the full seriousness of my sin against God. But I also can’t comprehend the limitless mercy that comes from Jesus Christ, God Himself, interceding for me! And His mediation is sure!
And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
– 1 Peter 4:18 (ESV)
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
– Hebrews 7:25 (ESV)