Bible Teachings - Jesus & The Promises
The One Mediator
WHAT IS A MEDIATOR?
Collins English Dictionary (1974) tells us that the word ‘mediator’ is the noun of the verb, ‘to mediate’ which means ‘to bring peace or an understanding (usually between people who are not on friendly terms).’ This meaning approaches but does not fully reach the meaning assigned to the Greek word, mesites - ‘a go-between, reconciler or intercessor’. A mediator is some one who effects, or attempts to effect, reconciliation between two estranged parties. A successful mediator is acceptable to both parties because he or she understands well the position of both parties and by careful conduct and tactful reasonableness gets them to relinquish any position that is unreasonable or unjust. He gets them to agree on issues of common concern and to accept that for the cause of peace and cooperation the gaining of all of one’s demands or desires are just not possible. It may be that there is a misunderstanding between the two parties, of each other’s true position as opposed to what is initially believed to be the other’s position.
So down the ages there have been many mediators who have attempted, sometimes quite successfully, in bringing about peace and understanding between opposing parties.
WHO IS GOD’S MEDIATOR?
But we are interested here in the necessary one mediator who can bring about peace and unity between God most holy, and us frail, sinful, mortal people. Who is God’s mediator? Only the Holy Scriptures, written by inspiration of God can reveal this. In the New Testament the Greek word for mediator, mesites, occurs some seven times. Three times in Galatians 3/19,20, where the Apostle Paul speaks of a mediator to whom God gave the Law-Covenant at Sinai (the Law of Moses) to Israel, God’s chosen people. That mediator was the High Priest of Israel. Under the Mosaic Law, Aaron of the tribe of Levi and his successors mediated between God and Israel so as to effect atonement. This at-one-ment was necessary for both himself and Israel, and was effected annually on the Day of Atonement, (Leviticus ch. 16). Paul’s point in the Galatians references above is that the High Priest’s Law mediation did not and could never bring about true unity with an holy God. This is only possible through "the faith of Jesus Christ", v. 22 - emulated, or copied by all who like Jesus, believe God’s promises and are baptized, vv. 22-29. The other four times ‘mediator’is used in the N. T. are in 1 Timothy 2/5, quoted above, Hebrews 8/6; 9/15; and 12/24. The Apostle reveals who is God’s true Mediator - "the man Christ Jesus" - our risen Lord, who mediates a new covenant which is better than the old Law-covenant of Moses because it involves faith in God’s Word and trust in His redeeming grace.
Jesus Christ our Lord is the one and only Mediator between God and men. He represents
God because, as the Son of God, God sent Him to live an exemplary life of holiness and be obedient unto death. He represents mankind because he is "the man Christ Jesus" and once bore the same mortal nature with all its weaknesses as we now bear, and he died as an acceptable offering for our sins. God raised Him from the dead, granted Him God’s own nature, immortality, and made Him "high priest after the order of Melchisedec",(Hebrews 5/5-10), and "the one mediator between God and men", (1 Timothy 2/5).
WHAT CAUSED THE NEED FOR GOD’S ONE MEDIATOR?
The sin of Adam and Eve commenced a long trail of sin involving the whole world and reaching right down to us in our day. Sin manifests itself in many evil forms but under any one or all of three heads: "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life", (1 John 2/16). No one since Adam, except Jesus the Son of God, has escaped the poison of Adam’s sin, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God", (Romans 3/23; 5/12). And because all mortals have been ‘stung’ with the sting of death which is sin, all are alienated from God and all need to be reconciled back to God. God has provided in His Son, Jesus our Lord, a suitable mediator who can help us to be reconciled back to God.
HOW DOES JESUS’ MEDIATION WORK?
To qualify for his role and represent us, Jesus needed to be as man, a member of our human race. And this He was, (Hebrews 2/9-18; 4/14-16; 5/7-9). But He also needed to represent God. And this He did by being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and by living a godly, obedient life as the Son of God, (Luke 3/21,22; Romans 1/3,4; Hebrews 4/15; Philippians 2/5-11). In submission to God’s will, Jesus laid down his life voluntarily as a necessary sacrifice for sin – mankind’s, not his own. Yet being a man he fully experienced the trauma of temptations, which mightily appealed to the lust of his flesh, the lust of his eyes and the pride of his life, (Matthew 4/1-10). But by trust in God and His sanctifying word, Jesus conquered sin. When God raised Him from the dead and granted him immortality, He also conquered death.
So Jesus is God’s example to us of what God can do in the one who fully and unreservedly trusts in Him. Jesus can therefore appeal to us to "come - take up your cross and follow me"! God gave Him victory, and if we truly follow Jesus’ example God is able to grant us victory also. In Jesus’, victory at-one-ment, peace and fellowship of God with man is made possible. We need to avail ourselves of God’s offer in Jesus, to be reconciled to Him, in the reconciliation that true faith makes sure, (Romans 5/10; 2 Corinthians 5/18-20).
THE EFFECTS OF JESUS’ MEDIATION ON US
When we believe the gospel or good news of the Kingdom of God and are baptized (immersed) into the name of Jesus Christ, we enter into the reconciliation, the mediation that Jesus has already effected for mankind. Then God forgives us all our past sins, and the anger that He had for them is removed and we are now counted, not as enemies, but as friends; and more - sons and daughters of the living God! Thereafter we seek always to please God. But sometimes we fail and again sin. Knowing that Jesus is in heaven at God’s right hand and is our High Priest, we can confess and turn from those sins and in prayer seek reconciliation by God’s forgiveness of our sins. We will "come boldly unto the throne of Grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need", (Hebrews 4/14-16).