One of the sweetest words in the Bible surely is “reconciliation.” Paul wrote that “we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:11). The word translated reconciliation means “reestablishment of an interrupted or broken relationship.” And, in 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, the apostle Paul called the gospel the “message of reconciliation.”
Reconciliation between two alienated parties requires a go-between—mediator, or “middle man.” But not everyone is suited to mediate in every circumstance. The great gospel preacher, N.B. Hardeman, noted three qualifications for a suitable mediator:
- The mediator must not be one of the parties who needs to be reconciled.
- The mediator must be able to sympathize with both parties.
- The mediator must not be especially related to one of the parties.1
In the reconciliation between God and man, Jesus Christ is the only Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Jesus Christ perfectly meets each of the three qualifications for mediator. In the first place, Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man is not exclusively on God’s side or man’s side in the conflict, but equally fills both roles (see John 1:1-14). In the second place, Jesus Christ knows what it is to occupy the station of both God and man, and so He can understand both parties (Philippians 2:5-9; Hebrews 4:15). In the third place, Jesus Christ’s being fully God and fully man assures us that He will not make a prejudiced or unfair judgment (2 Timothy 4:8). Hardeman summarizes:
“Jesus Christ stands that unique character in the midst of the ages. He reaches up with one and and says, ‘God is my Father;’ and with the other he reaches down to man and says, ‘humanity is my mother.’. . . . Jesus Christ said: … Before I came to be the mediator of the world, I lived, it is true, with God. I tasted the beauties, the grandeurs, and the glories of the eternal home. But that is not all. I bade all that good-by. I came to the earth to be in touch with all the infirmities of man. I know what it means to be tired, hungry, and weary. I know what it means to be persecuted and at last condemned and made to die a felon’s death. I understand all that. I have lived with you; therefore judgment at the last shall be tempered with mercy, because I am acquainted with the trials and tribulations and difficulties of mankind.”2
We are honored and grateful to serve the perfect Mediator, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.