I loved playing and watching basketball during high school. Now, refereeing basketball is a different story. When I was in ninth-grade, I went one Saturday morning to the gym to watch some friends playing in a church league. This day, the referee forgot to show up. Thus, I was asked to referee the game. But after the game, a father of one of the guys came up to me and began to tell me what a terrible referee I was. He said that the game was the worst refereed game he had ever seen in his life. Obviously, he was very angry with me and was accusing me … pointing his finger in my face and threatening me. And to be honest, I was scared and intimidated.
But there was another man in the gym that day. My dad. He saw what was happening from across the gym and began to pick up pace towards me. You see my daddy cares very much for his son. My dad is a big, strong man. No adult was going to accuse with his son without having to deal with him. He had zero tolerance for anyone wrongly and unjustly accusing his son without a discussion with him. Even today, I recall the words of my father on that unforgettable occasion: “If you’re going to accuse and treat my son like this, you’re going to have to deal to me.”
Before my father intervened and came between me and my accuser, I was extremely fearful and anxious. Afterward I was full of confidence and boldness since my father had come to my defense.
This story illustrates what our Savior does for us when all hell endeavors to shake us. He is our great high priest who comes to our aid. Our ascended King is the eternal priest who continually intercedes for us and answers all the accusations of our adversary (Hebrews 7:20-28; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
Robert Murray McCheyne was a young minister in Scotland who lived in the early 1800s. He says, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!”
John Chrysostom, the golden-mouthed preacher who lived in the 4th century, certainly lived out the reality of this bold confidence in Christ our constant companion and intercessor. Chrysostom was brought before the Roman emperor who threatened him with banishment if he continued to profess that Jesus is Lord.
Chrysostom replied: “You cannot banish me, for this world is my father’s house.” “But I will slay you,” said the emperor. “No, you cannot,” said the noble champion of the faith, “for my life is hid with Christ in God.” “I will take away your treasures.” “No, but you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there.” “But I will drive you away from man and you shall have no friend left.” “No, you cannot, for I have a friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me. I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to hurt me.”