Harbor Lights Sermon Apr 11th, 2010

Jesus Our Mediator

1Tim 2:3-6 God our Savior, wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men

We need someone to mediate between us and God because as it is written in Is 59:2 your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Jesus was trained to be the one Mediator between us and God. "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" Php 2:6-8

Heb 5:7-9 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

He can sympathize with us as he experienced our humanity. Just before his death, he prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. Luke 22:41-45 There are times when God wants us to go through things we don't want to go through. Jesus experienced that as well. John 12:27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour."

It is written in Heb 2:17  For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are— yet was without sin.

Jesus can sympathize with us in our weaknesses. It took him some effort to do so. You know when he was on the cross he cried out in a loud voice saying, Mt 27:46  <"Eloi, Eloi, lama> <sabachthani?">— which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?". You know why he said that? It was because he was intentionally meditating on Psalm 22. It was a Psalm written 1000 years prior to that. Written by King David. It was a Psalm written for Christ to mediate on while he died.

It starts out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Ps 22:1 which is the first thing we find Jesus saying on the cross. (Mt 27:46)
In Ps 22:7,8 it says, "All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
This corresponds to what Jesus experienced according to Mt 27:41-43 which says, "the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’"
Then in Ps 22:9,10 it says, "Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God." This may have been the time in John 19:26,27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.


Now a word about Mary. Some are under the misconception that Mary is our mediator. The Bible says, there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men. Did you know that Mary is not mentioned in any of the New Testament letters. She's only mentioned briefly in the gospels and not always in a positive light.

There was one time when Jesus was teaching, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." Luke 11:27,28

Another incident in Mark says, "Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, 'He is out of his mind.'" Mark 3:20,21 Then if we continue on to verse 31 when they actually arrived it says: Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.  Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother." Mark 3:31-35

So let's not make too much of Mary. Jesus will be the one to defend you on the judgement day. Jesus should be the one we ask, "Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen" Now going back to the cross.

Then in Ps 22:14,15 it says, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death." Which may corresponded to John 19:28,29 "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth." Which also correponds to the prophecy of Ps 69:21 "They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst." What Jesus did he did to fulfill his mission according to scripture. And part of his mission was to experience suffering so to empathize with our suffering so he might become a merciful and faithful high priest.
Then Ps 22 becomes upbeat starting in verse 22
Ps 22:22-30
I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord."
There was a thief being crucified next to Jesus. In Luke 23:42,43 he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." While Jesus made it easy to be saved, there are certain things he requires, things which we can see in this man. He acknowleged Jesus Christ as Lord and called out to him to be saved. It is written that, "if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved ... As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile— the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Rom 10:9-13
The last verse is Ps 22 says.
"They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn— for he has done it." Ps 22:31 which corresponds to one of Jesus' last words on the cross, " "It is finished!" John 19:30b 
Finally in Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
We read in Mt 27:51-54 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

The prophet Isaiah writes of Jesus saying, "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

John writes, "If anybody sins, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins" John 2:1b-2a

Jesus is our mediator, our lawyer. If God were to say to you why should I let you into my kingdom, what could you answer? "You'll have to speak to my Lawyer, Jesus Christ". Afterall, in human courts the defendent is represented by a lawyer. Jesus speaks to the Father in our defense. Therefore the Christian does not defend himself on the judgement day. That's Jesus' job, and as Jesus said, "it is finished", as such Jesus says in John 5:24 "whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

Jesus sympathizes with our humanity. Part of his mission on earth was to learn to sympathize with us. A good mediator sympathizes with both parties.

But realize that we are not the offended party, God is. God has not offended us. God is offended by us. Jesus is our lawyer to defend us on the judgement day for failing to live up to God's standards. Now if a person feels that they have not offended God, then they are saying they don't need a lawyer. They are saying they don't need Jesus to be their savior because they feel that apart from Christ they are OK with God.

Christ atoned for sin. 1Peter 3:18 Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. His suffering in death satisfied God's judicial nature in that unjustified suffering demands compensation. Afterall if you were to suffer unjustly, wouldn't you be justly entitled to compensation. Thus Christ was also entittled to compensation. And being God in the flesh, the value of his unjustified suffering entitled him to pay for the sins of world. In this way God's judicial nature is satisfied.

However there is one contingency of this whole plan of salvation. We are required to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

Rom 4:20-26
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

God forgives sins, but not freely. He forgives sins based on the atoning work of Christ on the cross.

Jul 29,2015