Since my first daughter was very little, she liked to dip things into ketchup (catsup) or ranch dressing. It really didn’t matter what the food was. Even if we put teriyaki chicken on the table, she would say, “ketchup!”
You and I aren’t much different; think of your favorite spinach dip, or nacho cheese dip. Sometimes, the food we eat is simply a “delivery method” for the condiment.
If the dip is really good, you might wait until everyone looks away at the party and dip that baby carrot into the ranch dip after you’ve already gnawed on it. Our society frowns on double dipping, though. It has a negative connotation. It’s kind of a germ issue.
In truth, though, we live in a ‘germy world’. Staph is everywhere, bacteria grows in places that are apparently clean. Even when I am careful not to touch public handles and doorknobs, I come into contact with strains of things that make me sick. And, inevitably, it gets passed on to those around me.
Sin is like that in a way. When Adam and Eve made their choice, they chose against the will of God. They chose sin, and became infected with a life-threatening disease. More than that, they were guaranteed to die. Without the proper medication, they were doomed for all eternity.
Their offspring were also doomed, because we inherited the infection of utter sinfulness. Now, we have no choice, but to sin.
Into this dark situation, the Son of God and Light of the World provides another option. It took His entering into this world and becoming sin for us to set us free from the Law of sin and death (Law is best understood as “rule”). But, His death on the cross is not merely historical, static fact. It was an intercession that continues to this day. The following passage illustrates this;
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”l
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,m neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This passage is pure gospel for those who are persecuted, ill, suffering, dying, poverty-ridden, or undergoing various trials. It also identifies what kind of Jesus we have; a double dipper.
Although He fulfilled the Law and died for our sin as intercessor, He so identified with our continued need that He intercedes for us continually. Our living Christ, our living King, comes before the Father and talks to Him on our behalf.
Is there a greater love possible? And He is active in other ways, too. He comes to us in our water baptism. He comes to us through the communion table. He comes to us in the hearing of the Word and the rightly divided Law and Gospel preaching of the pastor.
Jesus doesn’t merely double dip as an intercessor. He lives as our intercession. For now and forever.