7 Ways Jesus Christ can Help us

WHAT Jesus Christ did to help people when he was on earth was marvelous. This was so true that after recounting numerous events of Jesus’ life, one eyewitness said: “There are, in fact, many other things also which Jesus did, which, if ever they were written in full detail, I suppose, the world itself could not contain the scrolls written.” (John 21:25) Since Jesus did so much on the earth, we might ask: ‘How can he be our helper in heaven? Can we benefit from Jesus’ tender compassion now?’

The answer is most heartwarming and reassuring. The Bible tells us that Christ entered “into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.” (Hebrews 9:24) What did he do for us? The apostle Paul explains: “[Christ] entered, no, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place [“heaven itself”] and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us.”—Hebrews 9:12; 1 John 2:2.

What good news that is! Rather than ending Jesus’ wonderful work in behalf of people, his ascension to heaven enabled him to do even more for mankind.

In heaven, then, Jesus would do a work like that done by Israel’s high priest in behalf of God’s worshipers in ancient times. And what was that work? Paul explains: “Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; wherefore it was necessary for this one [the ascended Jesus Christ] also to have something to offer.”—Hebrews 8:3.

Jesus had something to offer that was far superior to what the ancient high priest offered. “If the blood of goats and of bulls” could bring a measure of spiritual cleanness to ancient Israel, “how much more [would] the blood of the Christ . . . cleanse our consciences from dead works that we may render sacred service to the living God?”—Hebrews 9:13, 14.

When Jesus was on earth, people flocked to him for help, and they sometimes traveled great distances to avail themselves of his assistance. (Matthew 4:24, 25) In heaven, Jesus is readily accessible to people of all nations.

The picture of Jesus Christ painted in the Gospel accounts leaves us with no doubt about his helpfulness and tender compassion. How self-sacrificing he was! On more than one occasion, his privacy was interrupted when he and his disciples were trying to get much-needed rest.

Rather than feeling cheated out of precious moments of peace and quiet, “he was moved with pity” for the people who sought his assistance. Even when Jesus was tired, hungry, and thirsty, “he received them kindly” and was willing to forgo food if he could help sincere sinners.—Mark 6:31-34; Luke 9:11-17; John 4:4-6, 31-34.

Moved with pity, Jesus took practical steps to fill people’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. (Matthew 9:35-38; Mark 6:35-44) Furthermore, he taught them to find lasting relief and comfort. (John 4:7-30, 39-42) How inviting, for example, is his personal invitation: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls.”—Matthew 11:28, 29.

Jesus’ love for people was so great that he ultimately gave his life for sinful mankind. (Romans 5:6-8) In this regard the apostle Paul reasoned: “He [God] who did not even spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all, why will he not also with him kindly give us all other things? . . . Christ Jesus is the one who died, yes, rather the one who was raised up from the dead, who is on the right hand of God, who also pleads for us.”—Romans 8:32-34.

Jesus demonstrated that he is qualified and willing to help people draw closer to God. Does this mean, however, that he has to persuade a harsh and unmerciful God who is reluctant to forgive? No indeed, for the Bible assures us that “God good and ready to forgive.” It also says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (Psalm 86:5; 1 John 1:9) Actually, Jesus’ tender words and deeds reflect his Father’s own compassion, mercy, and love.—John 5:19; 8:28; 14:9, 10.

How does Jesus bring relief to repentant sinners? By helping them to find joy and satisfaction in their sincere efforts to please God.

“Help at the Right Time”

What can we do, though, when confronted with problems that we feel are greater than we can handle—serious illness, the crushing burden of guilt, overwhelming discouragement, and depression? We can make use of the very provision that Jesus himself regularly relied on—the precious privilege of prayer. For example, on the night before he gave his life for us, “he continued praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

Yes, Jesus knows how it feels to pray to God with great intensity. He “offered up supplications and also petitions to the One who was able to save him out of death, with strong outcries and tears, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear.”—Hebrews 5:7.

Jesus knows how much it means to humans to be “favorably heard” and strengthened. (Luke 22:43) Furthermore, he promised: “If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name. . . . Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:23, 24) Hence, we can petition God with confidence that he will allow his Son to apply his authority and the value of his ransom sacrifice in our behalf.—Matthew 28:18.

We can be sure that in his heavenly capacity, Jesus will provide the right kind of help at the proper time. For example, if we have committed a sin that we sincerely regret, we can draw comfort from the assurance that “we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one.” (1 John 2:1, 2) Our Helper and Comforter in heaven will plead for us so that our prayers in his name and in harmony with the Scriptures will be answered.—John 14:13, 14; 1 John 5:14, 15.

Showing Appreciation for Christ’s Help

We can show our gratitude for all that Christ does for us by acknowledging his ownership of us and gladly responding to his invitation: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake day after day and follow me continually.” (Luke 9:23) ‘Disowning oneself’ is not simply a verbal claim of change of ownership. After all, Christ “died for all that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15)

Therefore, appreciation for the ransom will have a profound effect on our outlook, goals, and life-style. Our eternal indebtedness to “Christ Jesus, who gave himself for us,” should motivate us to learn more about him. We should also want to grow in faith, to live by God’s beneficial standards, and to be “zealous for fine works.”—Titus 2:13, 14; John 17:3.

More Help in the Near Future

Deteriorating world conditions are clear evidence that we are living in the crucial time period that was to precede the outbreak of “the great tribulation.” By exercising faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, we are receiving forgiveness of our sins and are being helped to come into a close relationship with God—in fact, becoming his friends.—James 2:23.

Never give up, therefore, in showing deep appreciation for all that God and Christ have done—and are doing—for us. The apostle Paul urged: “Always rejoice in the Lord. . . . Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:4, 6, 7.

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