In Romans 8:34, what does it mean that Jesus "intercedes"?

Rom 8:34 Who is the one to condemn? It is the Messiah Jesus who is interceding on our behalf. He died, and more importantly, has been raised and is seated at the right hand of God.

The word seems to refer to the act of praying to God for another person:

ἐντυγχάνω fut. 2 pl. ἐντεύξεσθε (Just., A I, 45, 6); 2 aor. ἐνέτυχον; 1 aor. subj. mid. ἐντεύξωμαι Hm 10, 2, 5 (cp. the simplex 2 Macc 15:7) in various senses: ‘meet, turn to, approach, appeal, petition’ (s. τυγχάνω; Soph., Hdt.+). ① to make an earnest request through contact with the pers. approached ⓐ approach or appeal to someone, τινί (Polyb. 4, 30, 1; Diod S 19, 60, 1; OGI 664, 10; 669, 46; SIG 820, 13 [I A.D.]; PTebt 58, 43; Da 6:13 LXX; Jos., Ant. 16, 170; Just., D. 2, 6 τοῖς Πλατωνικοῖς) MPol 17:2. τινὶ περί τινος (Polyb. 4, 76, 9; PSI 410, 14 [III B.C.] περὶ Ὥρου ἐντυχεῖν Ἀμμωνίῳ; PAmh 142, 10) περὶ οὗ ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος ἐνέτυχόν μοι concerning whom all the people appealed to me Ac 25:24 (En 22:7 Ἄβελ ἐντυγχάνει περὶ αὐτοῦ [τοῦ Κάϊν]. Of things: Jos., Ant. 12, 18 περὶ ὧν ἐντυγχάνειν μέλλει τῷ βασιλεῖ; Plut, Alex. 692 [49, 4] ὡς περὶ ἀναγκαίων ἔχοντας ἐντυχεῖν καὶ μεγάλων, Them. 125 [27, 2] [s. Field, Notes 140f]). ὑπέρ τινος plead for someone (Aelian, VH 1, 21; PAmh 35, 20; PTebt 183 [II B.C.]) of intercession by the Holy Spirit κατὰ θεὸν ἐ. ὑπὲρ ἁγίων Ro 8:27. Of Christ’s intercession Ro 8:34; Hb 7:25. τινὶ κατά τινος appeal to someone against a third person (cp. PGiss 36, 15 [161 B.C.] ἐνετύχομεν καθʼ ὑμῶν; PAmh 134, 10; 1 Macc 8:32; 11:25; En 7:6 ἡ γῆ ἐνέτυχεν κατὰ τῶν ἀνόμων; TestJob 17:5 καθʼ ἡμῶν) Ro 11:2; Hm 10, 2, 5.—DCrump, Jesus the Intercessor ’92. ⓑ Since petitions are also directed toward God, ἐ. can be rendered pray (Maximus Tyr. 10, 1b ἐντυχεῖν θεοῖς; BGU 246, 12 [c. 200 A.D.] ἰδότες ὅτι νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐντυγχάνω τῷ θεῷ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν; Wsd 8:21; 16:28; En 9:3 and 10 al.; Philo, Mos. 1, 173) w. dat. of the one being prayed to τῷ κυρίῳ (w. ἐξομολογεῖσθαι) Hm 10, 3, 2; τῷ θεῷ to God Hs 2:6. Also πρὸς τὸν κύριον (cp. Plut., Fab. 185 [20, 2]) Hs 2:8. περί τινος for someone 1 Cl 56:1; Pol 4:3. ② From the idea of ‘coming across’ or ‘encountering’ a book (Plato et al.) derives the sense read (Polyb. 1, 3, 10; Plut., Rom. 24 [12, 6]; Vett. Val. 358, 25; 2 Macc 2:25; 15:39; Jos., Ant. 1, 15; 12, 226; Just., A I, 26, 8 al.; Philo, Spec. Leg. 4, 161 [a book] ἐντυγχάνειν κ. ἀναγινώσκειν ‘read and attend to’) Dg 12:1.—RLaqueur, Quaestiones Epigr., diss. Strassb. 1904, 15ff.—DELG s.v. τυγχάνω. M-M. TW. Spicq. Sv.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 341). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

If that is the idea is it inconsistent with the 4th gospel?:

Joh 16:26 At that time, you will make your requests in my name, so that I will have no need to ask the Father on your behalf,

I notice that Hebrews links intercession with "completely saving" those who approach God through him:

Heb 7:25 Therefore, because he always lives to intercede for them, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.

In that passage it seems to refer to Jesus administering the New Covenant with the Jews:

Heb 7:22 In this way, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Heb 7:23 There have been many priests, since each one of them had to stop serving in office when he died. Heb 7:24 But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Heb 7:25 Therefore, because he always lives to intercede for them, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.

So what activity is in view in Romans 8:34?

3 Answers 3


The verse must be read along with the preceding:

Romans 8:33–34 (KJV 1900)
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

The point of the pericope is that no man is able to make any kind of accusation against God's chosen ones, since any such accusation will be immediately overruled by Christ, who forever sits at the right hand of God.

Although we usually think of "intercession" as some sort of pleading, it also has a meaning of interposing a veto or of interposing oneself (see Oxford English Dictionary) It is in this sense that Christ intercedes for believers against those who lay any thing to the charge of God's elect.

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In Romans 8:34, what does it mean that Jesus “intercedes”?

Romans 8:34 NASB

34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was [a]raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

We are all sinners. (Romans 3:​23) Sin puts a barrier between us and God, and it leads to death. (Romans 6:​23) But Jesus serves as “an advocate/ intercessor” for those who exercise faith in his ransom sacrifice.

1 John 2:1NASB

Christ Is Our Advocate

2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an [a]Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

He pleads in their behalf, asking God to hear their prayers and grant forgiveness of their sins on the basis of Jesus’ sacrificial death. (Matthew 1:​21; Romans 8:​34) God acts on such pleas made by Jesus because they are in harmony with His will. God sent Jesus to the earth “for the world to be saved through him.”

John 3:17 NASB

17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


Quick answer here to see if this addresses your question. My view of this it is twofold. Christ is interceding for us both at the throne of God in heaven, and also within His believers. First Corinthians 15:45 tells us that "the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit." We are also told "he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Cor 6:17) Earlier in Romans 8 it talks about the Spirit within groaning and making intercession for us in a unutterable manner.

This is a mystical, unseen union. Christ has become one with us in the deepest part of us (our spirit), and therefore knows what we need in a most intimate way. He knows exactly what His body on the earth needs, as His life is flowing among us . . . those attached to the Vine. Therefore it says, "As He is, so also are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) The union with believers, God, Christ and the Spirit is also conveyed earlier in Romans 8, in verses 9 - 11. This is an organic, life union, and our Head always knows what is going on with His body!

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