"There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus ...”
1 Corinthians 2:5 (CEB)
It’s a phrase that many people grew up either using or hearing in their home. It usually came out when someone was not sure what the answer should be or which direction to take. The phrase was uttered by a parent who was being non-committal—perhaps for various reasons. The question that brought about the phrase was asked by a child desiring a favorable outcome. Seemingly, more often than not the child was working one parent against the other. So, the question is asked and the parent utters the phrase, “Go ask your mother/father.” Very rarely when I was growing up did one parent give a definitive answer without asking me to consult with the other parent. One parent actually ended up being the mediator of the request. It’s not always easy to work through an intermediary or mediator.
The idea of going through a mediator, or intermediary, is found in the Old Testament sacrificial system. The Israelite people would bring their sacrifices to the temple and the priest would make the sacrifice on their behalf. The priests were the intermediary between the people and God. Only the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies to gain access to God. There was no direct access to the God of Abraham and Isaac, it was done through the priests. The people of God followed God’s commandments, the sacrificial system, and the words of the priests and prophets. The emphasis was faithfulness and obedience to God’s law. As you might well imagine it was a very difficult thing for the people to accomplish. It was not always easy for God’s people to work through an intermediary when trying to live for God.
The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that God initiates a new way. The 10 Commandments of the Old Testament are still valid. The call to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength is still of the utmost importance. A new way is made for direct access to the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. His name is Jesus. Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection was all about offering a new way for God's people, really all people, to be made right with God. It is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we are forgiven and made right with God. In our right relationship with God we have a savior, Jesus Christ, who mediates on our behalf. This is what the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy as a reminder. Paul wrote, “There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus.” Jesus is the one mediator—the direct access to God—between God and humanity. The once for all sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary eliminated the need for the sacrificial system. The New Covenant meant direct access to God through Jesus Christ.
Today when you pray you have direct access to God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—through Jesus Christ. When you pray, God hears your prayer. You don’t need to ask anyone else. For me, that is empowering. I know that when I pray in the name of Jesus Christ there is power. There is direct power in the direct access to God in Jesus. When you say your prayers today be sure to remember that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father advocating on your behalf. The Savior of all humanity and all creation is mediating for you. This should empower your prayer life and encourage you to pray bold, authentic prayers that go straight to the heart of your faithfulness to God. Know that you have direct access to God through the one mediator, Jesus Christ.
This weekend we continue the message series entitled Influence: A Study of 1 Timothy. We will discuss the influence of prayer. I hope you will join us this week and every week. The best is yet to come at St. Andrew’s and I can’t wait to see you in church!