Key Verse: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
TO MEDIATE MEANS TO interpose between opposing parties, with a view to reconciliation. A mediator is necessary to stand between God and any who are not in harmony with him. The Law Covenant between God and Israel was ordained “in the hand of a mediator.” (Gal. 3:19) This was Moses, who for forty years interceded between the Israelites and the Lord. However, under Moses, Israel did not realize the long-expected blessings promised through the Abrahamic Covenant. A better mediator would need to be provided. Moses himself foretold this, saying that God would raise up one “like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”—Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22
God’s provision of a better mediator is based on “better sacrifices” than the largely ineffective offerings of the Tabernacle arrangement. (Heb. 9:23) Paul speaks of these “better” arrangements in various ways throughout the Book of Hebrews. There is a better priesthood, with Christ as High Priest. (chap. 5:5-10; 7:11-16) There is a better atonement sacrifice, one which does not need to be offered annually, but once forever. (chap. 10:1-12) Paul also points out in detail that for Christ to become the mediator of the New Covenant he had to first die. It was “by means of death” as a “testator” that Jesus could bring about the release of Israel from their condemnation under the Law, as well as the release of mankind from Adamic condemnation. This release, accomplished by Jesus’ death at Calvary, has fulfilled the requirements for the work of the mediator to begin in God’s due time.—Heb. 9:11-28
Paul summarizes this, saying there is “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” At his First Advent, Jesus was not the mediator of the New Covenant, but “the messenger of the covenant.” (Mal. 3:1) He became that messenger starting at Jordan, and proclaimed for three and one half years the various features of his Father’s plan which would lead to the eventual establishment of that covenant. Chief among these was his death as the ransom. By this he began to serve the New Covenant by providing the price, the blood, which became a “surety” or guarantee of its eventual establishment. (Heb. 7:22,27) The New Covenant was thus made sure, though not yet put into operation.
During the ensuing Gospel Age, God has been selecting and developing the church, Christ’s footstep followers, who will participate with him in the mediatorial work relative to the world of mankind during God’s kingdom. These spirit-begotten followers of Christ are presently being trained to be “able ministers of the New Covenant,” as they seek to walk in his footsteps. (II Cor. 3:4-6) Paul affirms the church’s inclusion as part of “the Christ” which will bring blessings to man under the New Covenant. He states, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. … For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. … And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. 3:16,27-29