Written by Rev. Nicholas Davelaar
Published in the Courier of Russellville, Arkansas on April 10, 2015
Without fail, newspapers such as this contain job listings.
Whether you’ve already taken a glance at the current job openings or haven’t looked at them in months, we all know what they basically look like. A job title or description. Contact information. And many times also a desired qualification or two.
Job qualifications matter. That’s why employers put them in their job listings. They need people who have certain skills or qualities.
Here’s a question for us today: what sort of person do we need to rescue us from our sin, our rebellion against God? What qualities must a rescuer have to deliver us from God’s wrath and return us to his favor?
Let’s be clear that this isn’t a DIY endeavor—a do-it-yourself project. Each of us personally only adds to our guilt every day. With the psalmist, we can only cry out, “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?”
Consequently, what sort of person should we look for? Who is qualified to be our rescuer, our mediator?
Years ago one of the Protestant Reformers, after writing about our sin, asked, “Can another creature—any at all—this debt for us?”
He then gave this brief answer: “No. To begin with, God will not punish another creature for what a human is guilty of. Besides, no mere creature can bear the weight of God’s eternal anger against sin and release others from it.” Indeed, as Psalm 49:8 testifies, “the ransom of their life is costly.”
Does that mean our situation is hopeless? Does this mean we will never find a qualified rescuer, a suitable mediator?
No. Our situation is not hopeless because God graciously sent us a rescuer, a mediator. What’s so special about him? What special qualifications does he have?
On the one hand, he is fully human. As we noted, God would not punish another creature for what a human is guilty of. We needed someone who is fully human. This rescuer is.
And yet, on the other hand, this rescuer is also fully divine. This means that he can do what no mere man can: bear the weight of God’s eternal anger against sin and release others from it.
Who is this rescuer? What is his name? He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
From beginning to end, the Bible points to him as the rescuer, the mediator, the Savior. By believing in him—and only by believing in him—we sinners are reconciled to God.
Do you trust in God’s rescuer to reconcile you to God? Are you following him as your Savior and Lord in grateful joy? Christians around the world recently commemorated with joy his death and resurrection for sinners, and continue to do so each Sunday. Do you?
Think about that.
For further study, read Matt 1:21-23 and 1 Tim 2:5-6.