From Handbook to God’s Promises
PROVISION FOR BEING LOVED
The Greatest Advocate of All
(1 John 2:1–2)
African slaves in the British Empire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries had an advocate for their freedom in William Wilberforce. He was a wealthy evangelical Christian who tirelessly campaigned in the British parliament against the African slave trade until it was abolished in the Empire in 1833.
African Americans living in America in the 1950s and 1960s still lived without the full range of civil rights they deserved as American citizens. In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., they had their strongest advocate for civil rights. His nonviolent strategies and eloquent oratories advanced the cause of civil rights more than the efforts of any other person or group.
The poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India, from 1948 to 1997, had their most effective advocate in the person of a tiny Catholic nun, Mother Teresa. Her order of nuns, the Missionaries of Charity, was founded in 1950 and brought the plight of the destitute and dying to an international stage.
Christian believers living from Jesus’ day to the present time have had an eternal advocate in the person of Jesus the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) of God (see Luke 9:20). His advocacy is designed to free us from something more demeaning than slavery, more debilitating than inequality, and more destructive than poverty. He is an advocate to free us from the death sentence of sin (Rom. 6:23).
What does an advocate do? An advocate supports and defends the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. British slaves had Wilberforce; African Americans had King; Calcutta’s poor had Mother Teresa. God used each of these individuals to further the cause of justice for the downtrodden. But the one thing these people could not do is what Jesus does for us—speak to the Father on our behalf when we sin. Jesus Christ represents us before God as the righteous One who paid the penalty for our sins, enabling us to be forgiven.
Why does God the Father consent to hear the Son’s case on our behalf? Because the Son loved us so much that He provided the payment that the Father’s justice demands (John 15:13). Since our Advocate represents us without ceasing, our gratitude and praise for Him should be never-ending as well.
Because you are loved, your Advocate will always be heard.