Intercession. What a word. What a meaning! It's one of the most powerful words used in the Bible. It speaks of God. It tells about love. It portends suffering and power simultaneously.
John Knox prayed (interceded): "Give me Scotland or I die!" That sort of burden infinitely more heavy must have weighed on Jesus' heart before the world began when He prayed to the Father, "Give me the Bride or I die!" and die He did. So great was His desire to see His believers rescued from sin and its consequences that He gave Himself to die in their stead.
Intercession is a state in which one person stands between another person and God Himself. Intercession pleads in desperation for that other person. It supplicates or begs for something on the other person's behalf. The cry of the intercessor's heart is so strong, so gut-wrenching that the intercessor feels as though he will die from earnestness and desire.
Intercession is not born from the pray-er's will or mind. Romans 8:26 says, "The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Intercession is God's heart praying for us, through us, for another. It is praying IN the will of God for the other individual/situation/nation/world. It is soul agony.
Jesus manifested that agony in Gethsemane when He sweat drops of blood as He prayed. His earnest prayer for His Bride, the Church, is recorded in part in John 17. His burden for her deliverance and freedom was so strong He went to the cross of His own volition. He was not mercilessly driven there by the Father. He was in accord with the Father in the giving of His blood; there was no other way to redeem those chosen before the foundation of the world to walk in white linen garments untainted by sin and the world.
Chosen: because Jesus was the Chosen Way to eternal life, those of us who believe in Him utterly for our salvation are the ones who may come to the Father through Him. He is the Chosen Way.!
Jesus' intercession for us made our salvation possible. God is still looking for intercessors among us who will also lay down our lives for the sake of others. While we may not physically die, intercession requires of us our time, our strength and devotion, and our love.
Jesus went to the cross for "the joy that was set before Him" in the redemption of His bride. Joy lies before us, too, if we will intercede through the Spirit. Clean hands and a pure heart are the requisites. Come to the secret place. Let it become your Gethsemane.