Archives for October 2, 2012

Heartfelt Questions about Christ (II)

No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Why is it absolutely necessary that there be a Mediator between God and man?

Our sin has built a high wall and dug a vast gulf between God and us. Our greatest problem is the offense of our sins against God’s justice. As we saw from the Heidelberg Catechism (Q. 1) in the last post, we need a mediator “who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins.”

What qualifications must this Mediator meet in order to make satisfaction for my sins?

As the Canons of Dort (2.4) remind us, He must be truly man, perfectly holy, and the Son of God, possessing the same eternal, divine essence as the Father. Hebrews 2:17 says that he had to be truly human, “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 7:26 tells us he was holy and pure of all sin: “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” And Hebrews 1:1–3 says that this One who made “purification for sins” is God’s Son, “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”

Couldn’t Jesus just pray for God to forgive us?

We do need Him to intercede for us. But we also need Him to be the sacrifice of propitiation to satisfy God’s justice and turn away His anger. The Bible says in 1 John 2:1–2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Abraham Hellenbroek said in his Specimen of Divine Truths (12.2) that Christ is the Mediator of intercession and also of reconciliation. He must not only pray, but also give Himself as the “ransom” (1 Tim. 2:6).

How does that comfort your soul?

It is a wondrous comfort to know that I belong to the Savior “who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins.” How comforting are those words “fully” and “all”! Ephesians 1:7 says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Colossians 2:13 tells those made alive in Christ that God has “forgiven you all trespasses.”

How can I know that this is true, when I am so very guilty of sin?

You must rest your hope on Christ’s blood (Rom. 3:25; 5:9). The blood of Christ is exceedingly precious. By the blood of a sacrifice atonement is made for sin (Heb. 9:22). This is the blood of a perfectly righteous man who gave His life for sinners. This is the blood of a divine Person, the inseparable God-man whose life has infinite value. This blood is an acceptable sacrifice to the Father because it glorifies all God’s attributes in a beautiful harmony of divine justice, mercy, wisdom, and love. Thus this blood is precious in the experience of believers, who find all of their hope, all of their refuge, all of their salvation in His blood.