How is Jesus our mediator?
A mediator is a sort of go-between that assists with communication and negotiation between two or more different parties. In the New Testament, three different passages refer to Jesus as the mediator between God and people. A look at these three passages reveals much regarding Christ's work on our behalf.
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First Timothy 2:5 shares, "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Here the apostle Paul specifically teaches that Jesus is the one and only means of access between humans and God the Father. This affirms other places in Scripture, such as Acts 4:12 that adds, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
The second place in the New Testament that mentions Christ as our mediator is Hebrews 9:15: "Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant." Here Jesus is presented as the mediator of a new covenant. The first covenant (the Mosaic Law) provided a means for the condemnation of people. Through it, we can clearly see we have sinned and stand in need of forgiveness and redemption. The new covenant mediated or presented through Jesus offers this forgiveness of sins and presents us as just and right before God—something no person could ever earn through works. It is a gift of God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10).
The third place the New Testament mentions Christ as our mediator is found in Hebrews 12:24. There, we simply read, "Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…" Affirming the previous mention of Jesus as mediator given in Hebrews 9:15, we again see Jesus presented as the One and only mediator of God's new covenant that provides forgiveness of sins and right status before God.
The Jewish readers of these verses would have understood the significance of Jesus as their mediator. In their tradition, sacrifices were presented for sins. These sacrifices were not a one-time event, but occurred throughout one's lifetime. These temporary offerings were contrasted with the one-time sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of sinners. Through faith in Him, sin would be eternally forgiven, offering access to God and right standing before Him.
As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Through Jesus, a perfect sacrifice, we can be made right with God through faith in Christ Jesus.
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