Jesus Our Mediator

Featuring Bob Kauflin Posted on April 22, 2010


One of the most significant passages for understanding the role Jesus plays in our worship of God doesn't even mention the word worship. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). A mediator is a person who intervenes between opposing parties to help reconcile them. Without a mediator, there's no hope of the two connecting or being restored.

To magnify God's greatness in Jesus Christ means more than worshiping Jesus as God, extolling his example, and thanking him for his love. It involvesdrawing attention to, and trusting in, his specific work as our mediator and Savior. 

Most people haven't spent much time considering their need for a mediator in their relationship with God. That's because we grossly underestimate the gravity and offensiveness of our sin in light of God's infinite majesty, holiness, and justice.

As C. J. Mahaney explains: 

When you tell non-Christians, “God loves you,” they aren't surprised, they aren't perplexed, they aren't stunned. Regrettably, the same is true among most evangelicals, who simply assume this gracious disposition of God—and therefore presume upon it. And we'll continue to do this until we learn to see our condition more fully from God's perspective. 

God is gracious, to be sure. But not in the way most of us think. To us, graciousness implies overlooking some petty offense. It means being polite when we could be rude. Maybe we resist slamming on the horn when someone cuts us off in traffic or hold the elevator door open for a frantic businessman. We view graciousness from our perspective—one sinner relating to another.

God's perspective is different. He faces an infinitely more difficult dilemma.How can he forgive those who have defied his good and holy laws without compromising the integrity of his just and righteous character?

When we sin against God, and all sin is against God, we aren't sinning against someone like us. God is perfect. He is all-good, all-powerful, sovereign, and holy. And with each sin, we raise our fists in defiance against him. We assert our authority over his. Because God is holy and just, he must punish sin. He can't simply “sweep things under the rug” or “forgive and forget.” The entire Bible reveals God's unflinching commitment to the gloryand honor of his name. We make a mockery of it when we sin.

For that reason, we need to be saved from God's justice. We need to beprotected from his fierce jealousy for his supreme and unique glory.

And what we need has been provided for us in Jesus Christ.

Jesus served as our mediator when he willingly endured God's wrath against our sins at the cross, even though he himself was completely innocent. Jesus served as our mediator when he became our substitute to receive the punishment we deserved, after which the Father raised him fromthe dead, demonstrating the sufficiency of his sacrifice. Jesus was our mediator when he embraced the torment of separation from God so we could live with God forever. 

This is the good news of the gospel. This is the means by which we can now worship God.

In the thirty-plus years I've been involved in leading congregational worship, I have never found a truth that more consistently, powerfully, or rightly calls forth the passionate praises of God's people than this: Christ died for our sins to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18).


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