“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” – 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Mediator: “someone who intervenes between people in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.” (Thank you, Google & cliché essay writing habits)
God is holy and perfect, and in Him there is no sin. Absolutely no sin. But in us, there is plenty of sin. It is sin that separates us from God and His presence. Uh oh, conflict. But this is why Jesus came to earth– to mediate and reconcile the conflict between holy God and sinful man. Jesus came to fulfill the impossible standards of the law to be the one, all-perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins. This makes it possible for us inherently sinful beings to be restored to approach God and even be intimate with Him (Heb 10:10).
By living a sinless life, dying on the cross & rising from the dead, Jesus reconciled us to God that we would be granted eternal life and personal access to be intimate with God. We deserve death and judgment and many more terrible things, but Jesus MADE THE WAY! That is why HE IS THE ONE WAY!
While we may already know this, it’s very easy for us, as believers, to become desensitized to the reality of what Jesus’ process to Calvary entailed. We tend to think a lot about the ultimate moment of being pierced and scorned on the cross, but today I want to invite us to think about the part before the cross, before the walk of shame full of spitting and beating. Redemption was made real because Jesus succeeded in the first part of his mission on earth: to live pure and spotlessly despite the raging sin and temptation around Him. It’s the part before Jesus’ final moments on earth where He was able to live as a sinless man that sets everything up for victory. Let’s take a minute to reflect on what this really meant for Jesus.
How feasible is it for us to control malicious thoughts whether that be lustful, judging, hateful, etc.? Not very.
Or, how good are we at not succumbing to our flesh to satisfy a sinful desire or succumb to the comforts of complacency and pride? Not very.
The list of questions and “not very” answers could go on, but for Jesus it was all feasible and Jesus never succumbed. For all His life. He was able to stay pure through it all. And it was most definitely not easy. His mission to mediate between sinful humanity and the Holy Almighty God succeeded on the premise of Him being blameless, pure and set apart throughout his entire lifetime. This is the reason why the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was the perfect one. On top of it all, after His death came the beautiful resurrection, which secures His mediating work to be everlasting. Because He is alive and well, His mediating work and sacrifice are valid forever. Over-achieving, much? (thank the LORD)
The point is not to feel bad and stay sad about how we are weak and suck at being good. The point is to re-focus on where the focus is due. It’s to acknowledge that it is not by our works that we are saved but by grace and through faith! Oh, what a gift and relief that is! Oh, how much more beautiful the actions of our Mediator are! I mean, it’s a TON of pressure taken off from our shoulders, no?
Yet reality is, we rejoice in this one moment and then go back to gloom and doom the next because we’re so forgetful. We forget and so easily take that whole ton of pressure to strive out from Jesus’ hands and back onto our shoulders in a very unhealthy way. And then we feel guilty for failing, again and hit our head on a desk, again because we feel like we’ve disappointed God, again. Grace calls us to look up and ahead.
But here’s a revelation that makes my heart come back alive and stay in the right place—there is nothing I can do (good or bad) that can change what He did on the cross. As great of a Christian as I may be doesn’t change the depth of His love that led him to the cross. How bad I act doesn’t change what God has accomplished in the victory either. All the pain and sufferings He bore up to and on that day has all been done. It is finished forever and it’s history. It’s in the past. We can’t change the past—it’s sealed and done. And it lasts forever, because He rose from the dead, remember? Wow.
A good friend of mine wrote a song that has been melting me to my knees the past couple weeks. It goes like this:
“There’s nothing I can do to change your love for me. You took the cup of wrath that was reserved for me. Though I turn my back, I hear you call my name. At the foot of the cross, I live at your mercy…”
So whatever it is that you feel guilty or condemned about, I pray that today would be a day where we submit and lay down our stubborn pride of getting it all “right & holy,” to simply receive His grace and mercy. Acknowledge the work of the Mediator, thank the Mediator, and rest in the Mediator’s unconditional love. Rather than beating ourselves up about how much we suck and don’t pray enough, read the Bible enough, or do enough, may our eyes be opened to the truth that what He did was enough. Let the realization and revelation of this extravagant love compel us forward to love Him more and spur us on to be more like our kind Savior in Spirit and in Truth. Let us be the ones to honor all that He’s done to reconcile us to our heavenly Father. What He did was actually much more than enough—He covers us for all eternity. Plus, it was never about us, anyways. And it’s crazy to know that He loves us always, anyways.
So come, let us adore Him!
Photograph above by Datawallpaper.
Jackie Son currently staffs at the United House of Prayer of USC and at Radiance International Ministries in Hollywood, CA. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Communication. She loves music, photography, and spending solitary moments reflecting on life at nice cafes.