Summary: With arms outstretched at the center of the divine-human tug-o-war, one Mediator reconciles two opposing parties – God and man – yesterday and today.
I. OBJECT ILLUSTRATION
Bring two short 3’ ropes with hooks one end of each. Ask for a volunteer and instruct the volunteer that their task is simple – to join the two ropes together by the end hooks. Begin to count to three, but stop short – saying that you forgot that you needed two other volunteers – one on each end of each rope to pull hard against the ropes as the first volunteer tries to bring the two ropes together. It will appear like a tug-o-war with the first volunteer in the middle. The volunteer will unlikely be able to bring the ropes together with the counter resistance from the other volunteers. (Keep the volunteers up on the platform – still holding the ropes, but in a resting position – to recall the illustration in a few minutes.)
II. QUESTION: WHEN YOU THINK OF A “MEDIATOR”, WHAT SITUATIONS COME TO MIND?
A. Sometimes In Headlines:
1. Union asks for mediator
2. Mediator joins talks
3. Mediator breaks impasse
4. Parties call for federal mediator
B. Tonight – Jesus, Our Mediator
III. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
A. (Job 9:32-33) "For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both”
1. Job summarizes an ancient dispute – an ancient frustration
2. Two opposites pulling against each other
3. First – a dispute against each other
a. unholy man pulling against a holy God – sin & rebellion
b. holy God pulling against unholy Man – judgment - distance
4. Secondly – a dispute pulling for each other
a. holy God trying to pull up holy man – bring him to Him
b. unholy man pulling down on holy God – bring Him to him
5. It’s an ancient dispute, an ancient frustration
a. God was frustrated
b. man was frustrated
6. It’s a contemporary dispute, a 21st century frustration as well!
a. do you every get frustrated spiritually?
b. don’t you think God may still get frustrated with us?
7. “For He is not a man as I am…”
(Illustration of a young toddler who’s afraid of a storm outside. He says to his mother, “I’m scared of the storm. His mother says, “Jesus is here with you.” The boy replies, “I know, but I need Jesus with skin on!”)
B. Remember Our Text (1 Tim 2:5) “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (Emphasis on “the man”)
1. Notice first: “the Man”
a. in Job “For He is not a man as I am…”
b. now Timothy says, “the Man”
c. points to the incarnation of God – Jesus Christ
d. now this dilemma is resolved – there is a Mediator – Jesus Christ
2. Notice second: “the Man”
b. struck me “odd” that said, “the Man” – minimizing His divinity?
c. but capitalized – keeps the divinity
d. not just any man – but the ultimate man - the God-man
3. Notice third: “one Mediator”
a. not just any mediator
b. again Mediator – capitalized – not just a role, but who He is
c. “one” – and only one – exclusive!
C. This Brings Us To The Beauty Of Christ’s Role As “Mediator”
Hebrews 8:6 “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”
1. A more excellent ministry, better covenant, established on better promises
2. Not just the latest and greatest – there is not a better version to come, this is it, don’t wait for something else. This is as good as it will ever get!
D. Hebrews 9:15 “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
1. Suspended between “Sky” and “Soil”
a. with one hand – the gates of God’s heaven
b. with the other hand – the gates of man’s heart
a. omnipotent energy, He pulled us upward
b. omnipotent love, He pulled infinite grace downward
4. And in so doing – brought salvation to mankind
5. ASK VOLUNTEER TO NOW CLASP ROPES TOGETHER (Two other volunteers let up on their resistance)
A. I Thank God For Jesus My Mediator
1. God needs Him, yet even today
a. we fail, God gets tired of us, weary
b. He feels distant from us
c. it’s the mediator that continues the work on heaven’s side
b. omnipotent love, daily pulling infinite grace downward!