Christ a Mediator

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”   1 Timothy 2:5
  “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,”  Hebrews 12:24

Mediator as applied to Christ, is borrowed from persons, whose office it is to reconcile such parties as are at variance, being as it were in the middle, betwixt both, soliciting the cause of each to the other, till they bring them to concord or agreement. The term is applied to Moses typically, Deuteronomy 5:4,5 with Galatians 3:19; but really and antitypically to Jesus Christ, Hebrews 12:24, Colossians 1:20, Romans 5:10,11 and 1 John 2:1.

A MEDIATOR PARALLEL
A Mediator implies a difference between two parties, Galatians 3:20. Sin made a great breach between God and man: “God is angry with the wicked every day,” Psalm 7:11. Hence by nature mankind are said to be the “children of wrath," Ephesians 2:3. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:” Romans 8:7.
A Mediator properly signifies a middle-man, a reconciler. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1Timothy 2:5. He is not only God, but man; not only man, but God: a blessed reconciler of man to God, and of God to man. Galatians 4:4-5.
A Mediator oftentimes is appointed to make up differences that arise between two parties upon a breach of covenant. The difference originally that is between God and man, did arise from man’s breaking God’s covenant, Isaiah 24:5. God and man were in peace and concord, whilst man stood in the state of innocency; but when he fell, Christ came to make up that breach.
A Mediator must be a person willing to undertake the great work and transaction of making peace.   Jesus Christ was willing to undertake the work of Mediator, to make peace between God the offended Creator, and man the offending creature. "Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7.
A Mediator ought to be an indifferent or impartial person, free from all exceptions.   Jesus Christ is a person free from all exceptions whatsoever. God approved of him, Acts 2:22, and man hath no cause to except against him, but contrariwise to be abundantly thankful to God for choosing him to this work and office, because none else could be found in heaven or earth; “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book …the Root of David hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Revelation 5:3-5.
A Mediator ought to be a well-wisher to peace, a person that loves it, and longs after it; nothing being more acceptable to him, than to be a peace-maker.   Jesus Christ is called the “Prince of peace,” Isaiah 9:6, never did any give such clear, full, and undeniable proofs and demonstrations of his being a Well-wisher to, and lover of peace; witness all he did and endured, or past through, from first to last, that he might accomplish this work of making peace, Ephesians 2:14.
A Mediator must have the great transaction of making peace committed to him, or be invested with full power and authority to do it. God hath given Christ full power and commission to accomplish this work of Mediatorship. He is anointed and ordained to be a Prince and Saviour. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18-20. “for him hath God the Father sealed,” John 6:27.
A Mediator ought to be a condescending person, not to have his own will to be done in any respect, further than the nature of the cause will require it. Christ showed himself to be a marvelous condescending Spirit: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2:6-7. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich,” 2 Corinthians 8:9. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” John 6:38. “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” Luke 22:42.
A Mediator is not chosen, unless there appear great need of it, and that the business cannot be accomplished otherwise. There was great need of, or it was very necessary that there should be a Mediator betwixt God and man:

First, on God’s part it was necessary, in respect of his own glory.

  1. In respect of the glory of his wisdom. This of bringing forth and ordaining a Mediator, was the marvelous contrivance, and the highest manifestation of divine wisdom: for hereby a way is found to justice and mercy, and make them meet together in sweet harmony; that the punishment of sin might be borne, and yet the sinner, pardoned freely in a way of mercy, Romans 3:26. Hence, (as the apostle showeth) “the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” Ephesians 3:10b-11.        
  2. It was for the glory of his mercy and goodness, which moved wisdom to seek out and provide this blessed Mediator, and glorious means of reconciliation, when God might justly have left fallen man, as he did the fallen angels. Moreover, this of a Mediator shows us, that God must be dealt with in a way of free grace, entreaty, and request. Hence we read, how frequently Christ prayed and interceded for us, yea, what strong cries and tears he offered up in the days of his flesh, Hebrews 5:7. Whatsoever blessed relief, pardon, peace, mankind receives, it is wholly in a way of mercy and free grace through the mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ. “By grace are you saved,” Ephesians 2:8. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” John 3:16.
  3. It was for the glory of his justice, which must be dealt with in a way of satisfaction; grace will be dealt with in a way of entreaty: therefore the covenant is established in the hands of a Mediator, that is able to lay down a price or ransom: 1Timothy 2:6. “That he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus,” Romans 3:26. Nay, when the Lord Jesus undertook on our behalf, to come up to the demand of justice, it is said, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,” Romans 8:32. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” 1Peter 2:24.
  4. The sovereignty of God is manifested in its glory, that through a Mediator he is pleased to extend mercy to mankind, when none is afforded to the angels that sinned: and that Jesus at his command should “ Lay down my life for the sheep,” John 10:15.  
  5. It magnifies the glory of God’s power and all-sufficiency, who can raise up and restore man to greater happiness than ever he had before his fall, when devils and sin had done their worst, 1John 3:8.
  6. The like might be said of the holiness, patience, and faithfulness of God.

Moreover, this undertaking adds to the glory of Christ Jesus, who is the Mediator himself; God had hereby a design to magnify the name of his Son, the second Person of the Trinity, in our nature.

  1. In that he is constituted (by undertaking this honourable office) King, Priest and Prophet, Acts 5:31.    
  2. In respect of that great power which is given to him, to make peace between God and man; to have the keys to open and shut; and to give eternal life to as many as he pleaseth, or are given by the Father to him, Ephesians 2:14, Revelation 1:18, John 3:35, 17:2.
  3. Nay, his glory shines forth herein to such a degree, that it is the duty of all men to “Honour the son, even as they honour the Father,” John 5:23.
  4. Christ hath hereby the honour of accomplishing the whole affair, being “author and finisher of our faith,” Hebrews 12:2.

Secondly, In respect of man, there was great need of such a Mediator.

  1. God would not treat with sinners upon any other terms. There is no knowledge of God which is saving, nor union with him, without a reconciliation. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ,” Ephesians 2:13. “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him,” Matthew 11:27.  
  2. Without a Mediator, to atone and make peace between the Father and us, there is no communion with him: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. Nor eternal life: such as are without Christ, and without God, must die (that is, be damned) in their sins, John 8:24.
A MEDIATOR PARALLEL
A Mediator must be fitly qualified for this work; a person very wise, for justice, and yet greatly inclined to mercy; that so he may answer the expectation of each party, so far as is necessary. Christ was every way qualified and fitted for this work. He was not only wise, but the Wisdom of God, 1Corinthians 1:30; much for justice, but yet inclines to mercy, and pity to the poor, Romans 3:26. And then again, how was he fitted by his being God? It is from the worth and excellency of his Person, that the price comes to be satisfactory, Matthew 3:17, 1Peter 1:19. Besides, had he not been God, as he could not have expiated sin, so he could not have overcome death, and other enemies he was to encounter with, that he might accomplish our redemption.
  1. He must be a man because he is to plead for us, and be sacrificed on the cross in our stead; he must bleed, as well as intercede for man. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission,” Hebrews 9:22. He must be man, that he might receive the Spirit for us, and we from him who is the Son, receive it with the adoption of sons, and thereby be sure of the eternal inheritance, John 17:10, Galatians 4:4-5, Hebrews 9:15.    
  2. He must be God and man in one person: “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one,” Galatians 3:20, and by this means he is fitly qualified for this office. He must be a person at an equal distance from, and drawing near and allied to both parties; have interest in, and participating of the nature of each. Hence it is thought that he is called our daysman (kinsman) that might lay his hand upon us both, Job 9:33. Having access unto them: knowing what will stand with the honour of the one, and be for the relief and profit of the other.
A MEDIATOR   PARALLEL
A Mediator must be faithful, seeking the interest, right, honour, and weal of both parties. Christ is faithful both to God and man, greatly for the honour of the one, and as much for the comfort and salvation of the other. He is said to be “faithful to him that appointed him,” Hebrews 3:2. And in respect of man he is called a, “faithful high priest,” Hebrews 2:17.
A Mediator many times meets with great trouble and difficulty, in undertaking the composing of some differences.   Jesus Christ met with much trouble in the days of his flesh, in managing our business as Mediator, from the devil and wicked men, Matthew 4:1; he found the world very averse to accept of terms of peace; and not only so, but they offered violence to him, and grievously abused him.
A Mediator ought to be endued with much patience, meekness and long-suffering, not only bearing frowns from one party, or the other, but also in his long waiting upon either of them, to yield to terms of peace offered to them.   Jesus Christ was meek and lowly in heart, Matthew 11:29: he patiently bore the hidings of his Father’s face. How quietly did he bear and endure the punishment due to us for our sin? Not withstanding “and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not, Isaiah 53:3. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth,” Isaiah 53:7.
A Mediator must be undaunted and courageous, unwearied, not tired out, nor let the work fall. Jesus Christ, as he was potent, so he was of a very courageous and undaunted spirit: “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law,” Isaiah 42:4.
A Mediator should be mollifying, that is, of so pacifying a temper, as to labour for such mediums that the streams of strict justice may run in a way of mercy, especially (considering the weakness and impotency of one party) for peace sake.   Jesus Christ was a pacifying Mediator; for instead of a personal satisfaction from the sinner, God accepts of his mediation: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Instead of an inherent righteousness, God accepts of a righteousness imputed; and accepts of sincerity instead of a perfect keeping the whole law; and through his mediation obtains pardon for human frailties, Romans 4:5, 9:32, Hebrews 8:12.
A Mediator hath usually a set time prefixed, finally to finish and accomplish his work. Jesus Christ, our Mediator, hath a time set him, to finish his mediatorial kingdom and office, which will cease at the end of the world, 1 Corinthians 15:28. Jesus Christ, our Mediator, hath a time set him, to finish his mediatorial kingdom and office, which will cease at the end of the world, 1 Corinthians 15:28.
A Mediator makes use of strong and powerful arguments, to bring the adverse party to terms of peace and friendship.   Jesus Christ our Mediator uses most weighty and powerful arguments, such as in the word of God set forth the excellency of his person, the preciousness of his blood; the oath, covenant, and promises of God; the miserable condition of man.
A Mediator, whose mediation is rejected, (after long patience) leaves the offending person open to the severity of the law. Jesus Christ when he is rejected, after his long patience and forbearance, will leave all offending and impenitent sinners to the severity of the law and wrath of God, Romans 9:22, Hebrews 10:26-27, John 3:36.
A Mediator is made sole judge in those great matters he is chosen about, and is to make righteous decision between party and party, and to give the definitive sentence at last. Jesus Christ is ordained the sole Judge by the Father, of the quick and the dead, and will in due time make a righteous decision between God and sinners, and pass that dismal definitive sentence on such as accept not of those terms of peace that he offers to them. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son”, “And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man,” John 5:22,27.
A Mediator after he hath done and finished his work of mediation, gives up his trust, and ceaseth to be a Mediator any more in that affair.   Jesus Christ, after he hath finished his work of mediation, at the end of the world will yield up his office unto the Father, and cease to be Mediator any more. “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all,” 1 Corinthians 15:28.
A Mediator leaves no liberty of appeal, after he hath passed the definitive sentence. Jesus Christ, after the last judgment, and definitive sentence is past, will leave no relief for sinners; then will that text be fulfilled, which says, “and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still,” Revelation 22:11.

INFERENCES

  1. See what the abominable nature of sin is; it is that which made the breach betwixt God and man, and filled the heart with enmity against the Majesty of heaven, Romans 8:6.
  2. From hence also we may admire the love of God, in sending such a blessed Mediator to make peace for us, John 3:16.
  3. This also shows the firmness and stability of the covenant of grace. Christ keeps and preserves peace betwixt the covenant-parties, being the Mediator thereof, Hebrews 9:15; the inheritance is from hence sure to all such as are called.
  4. It shows the woeful state of such as reject this Mediator, and will not accept of those gracious terms of peace he offers to them, Hebrews 2:3. They must submit to him, and take salvation, as it is offered by the Father through him, or perish, John 12:48.
  5. Let us take heed we own no other to be our Mediator, as Christ is our Mediator. Ministers may pray for us, and one saint may mediate and intercede to God for another: but none have power to make peace, or to give to God a ransom for his brother, Psalm 49:7-8. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 2:5. Christ mediates by the price and virtue of his own blood, which alone is that propitiatory sacrifice, by which we have peace and acceptance with God the Father.
  6. Let all labour to accept Christ Jesus as Mediator; which none can do, unless they receive him as King, Priest and Prophet.
Benjamin Keech

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:28

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.