I encourage you to read Isaiah 59:9-16. Verse 16 says, “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” God has always sought for an intercessor. An intercessor stands in the gap; he makes up the breach; he is a mediator; an advocate; a defense attorney. Throughout the Old Testament, God would seek for a man who would stand in the gap for the people.
Read Ezek. 22. Judah had become totally corrupt. The things they practiced makes the U.S. look sanctified! Yet, in verse 30, we see that God sought (desired; searched out) a man who would intercede for the people - but He found none. He didn’t want to judge the nation, so he searched for a man who would intercede. This is the heart of God. He’s not itchin’ to pour out wrath. He longs to show mercy. If only there was a man to stand in the gap.
Noah was an intercessor (2 Peter 2:5). So was Abraham (Gen 18:25, 20:3-7). So was Moses (Ex 32:9-14, Ps 106:23). So was the Levitical priesthood (Ex 28). So was David (2Sam 24:17); Ezra (Ez 9:1-8); Nehemiah (Neh 1:1-9); Jeremiah; Ezekiel (Ezek 18:30); and Daniel (Dan 9:3-19). These were all men who stood in the gap for the people.
Why did God seek an intercessor? Because He is both merciful and just. Many verses in the Bible talk about God’s mercy, grace, compassion, and loving kindness (Isa 54:8, Mic 7:18, Psalm 136, Ps 100:5, Lk 6:36, Joel 2:13, Jer 3:12 - just to name a few). Many verses also talk about God being a just and righteous Judge (Dt 32:4, Ps 98:9, 97:2, Jer 9:24, Gen 18:25 - just to name a few). This causes a dilemma. To be a just judge, He must execute righteous judgment. However, He is long suffering, ever merciful, kind and compassionate. How can He be both? God longs to show mercy and grace, but He must execute justice. There is one solution: the intercession and sacrifice of one as righteous as He. Christ Jesus The Lord.
Jesus has made intercession for the transgressors (which is all of us - Rom 3:23), by dying for our sins (Isa 53:12). Jesus is now at the right hand of God, making intercession for us (Rom 8:34). He saves to the uttermost (completely and totally) those who come to God by Him, because He ever lives (at all times) to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25). He has given the Believer His Holy Spirit, to make intercession for us (Rom 8:26-27).
We must grasp this wonderful truth. The Old testament intercessors were somewhat effective, and they did what they could. However, even the most righteous of them were still sinners themselves. Also, the sacrifices offered were not sufficient either. Those intercessors were only types of the chief intercessor, Jesus Christ. Those sacrifices were only types of the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
Through the sacrifice and intercession of Jesus, we can now stand legally justified before God. His justice demands righteous judgment, so He could not simply pretend we were righteous, or look the other way. No, sin had to be dealt with legally. So, God poured out His justice and judgment on Jesus - dealing with sin legally; So that he could legally extend to us mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and loving kindness.
Blessed is the man in whom the Lord will not impute sin (Rom 4). God no longer imputes sin to us. He is able to do this legally, because Jesus already did the time for our crime. Our sins have been punished in Christ. Sin will still cost the Christian in manifold ways, but it is because of sowing and reaping - and not because God is holding sin against you.
Of course, you have to believe on Jesus and be born again for this to profit you any. His sacrifice does you no good, unless you appropriate this great blessing by faith. Jesus is our mediator (1Tim 2:5). We no longer need a man to stand in the gap for us. Jesus forever stands in the gap! Jesus makes up the breach! Jesus is our mediator with God! Jesus is our advocate! Jesus is our intercessor!
We are still to pray and intercede for one another (1Tim 2:1), but not in the way the OT saints did. We now pray in Jesus Name, in accordance with God’s will. We do not have to beg and plead with God to “repent of the evil” (Ex 32:14), for He has already poured out that evil on Jesus. God found His intercessor (Isa 59:16). His name is Jesus. His arm brought salvation. Because of the sacrifice and intercession of Jesus, God is now perfectly just and righteous to offer us complete pardon, mercy, and forgiveness. No one can bring a charge against God’s elect - for it is God Who justifies! Whom the Son makes free, is free indeed. Selah.