Now we go to the next thing in verse 6: "... while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against Thee. Yea, I and my father's house have sinned" (6b). Identification is in confession of this kind. When a man is found confessing what is not wholly his responsibility, something for which many others are responsible as well as himself; when he is confessing it as though it is his sin, that is identification; and when it is confession of this kind, it is acknowledgment, and it is repentance. So I think we may speak of this as the feature of confession. If we were using a phrase instead of a word, we would speak of vicarious repentance, repenting in the behalf of others. But confession is sufficient, it carries with it all that.
We have tried to tell ourselves in this message that we must not regard ourselves as something apart from the rest, some thing that is detached, and that looks on at things in any kind of judging, condemning, critical way, as though we had no part in it; but, being members of one Body, if one member suffers all the members suffer with it, and the suffering is the suffering of the whole Body. With Christ I am quite sure that is true, that He suffers in the measure in which any part of His Body comes short, because He needs the whole Body, in fullness, for the fullness of His expression and realization. So that He suffers, and if the Body is in any part coming short we are suffering in the suffering of Christ. Is not that what the Apostle meant when he said he was filling up that which was lacking of the sufferings of Christ? That is real intercession; prayer of confession and identification.