A mediator is one who stands in the middle between two opposing parties.
- It could be two opposing sides in a labor dispute,
- Two opposing sides in a sticky divorce.
- Two opposing sides who are arguing over the value of a particular item.
Let me give you two examples of a mediator as found in Scripture. First, look with me at the old story of Sodom and Gomorrah from the book of Genesis. In the account, Abraham served as a mediator between Sodom and God.
Sodom was a very wicked place. In fact, the place was so wicked God had decided to wipe it off of the face of the earth. Before He exacted judgment, though, He elected to talk things over with His friend Abraham. It is at this point that Abraham begins to dicker with God on Sodom’s behalf.
Genesis 18:22-33 captures the conversation. I will skip through the passage while reading from The Living Bible, “Then Abraham … said, ‘Will you kill good and bad alike? Suppose you find fifty godly people there…. Surely you wouldn’t … kill the godly with the wicked! … Should not the Judge of all the earth be fair?’
And God replied, ‘If I find fifty godly people there, I will spare the entire city for their sake.’ Then Abraham spoke again. … ‘Suppose there are only forty-five? Will you destroy the city for lack of five?’ And God said, ‘I will not destroy it if I find forty-five.’
Then Abraham went further … ‘Suppose there are only forty?’ And God replied, ‘I won’t destroy it if there are forty.’ … ‘Suppose only thirty are found there?’ And God replied, ‘I won’t do it if there are thirty there.’
Then Abraham said, ‘Suppose there are only twenty?’ And God said, ‘Then I won’t destroy it for the sake of the twenty.’ Finally, Abraham said, ‘Suppose only ten are found?’ And God said, ‘Then, for the sake of the ten, I won’t destroy it.’”
Abraham was bold in his faith. He knew that the heart of God was to save life, not take it. So, he felt safe in bargaining with the Lord on behalf of the people of Sodom.
Abraham serves here as a prime example of a biblical intermediary. Again, he took the place between the one who was offended – God – and those who were the offenders – the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the end, Abraham ran out of numbers before God ran out of grace, and the place was destroyed.
In the book of Exodus, we find the people of Israel worshiping a golden calf. This act of idolatry made God angry. So angry, in fact, that He told Moses that He was going to destroy the whole lot of them. That He was then going to start afresh with a new bunch of people and Moses would be the main man. It is at this point that Moses takes on the role of the mediator.
Exodus 32:31-32, “So Moses went back to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made them-selves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.’” Moses stood in the gap between sinful Israel and our holy God. The end result was, God did not destroy the people.
When my youngest daughter was but thirteen months old, she came very close to dying. I have little doubt that in March 1979, Satan thought that he had this preacher and my wife down for the ten count. It was almost as if he was taunting us, “your baby daughter has spinal meningitis. She is going to die, or be deaf, blind, or mentally challenged.”
But Jesus, knowing our need, stepped before the Father as our mediator and said, “Father, I love that young couple. I am standing here pleading on their behalf. I paid the price for Marci’s healing on that cross and by My stripes she is healed!” And, praise God, she was healed!
Today, Marci is a healthy mother of two.
- Jesus was our Abraham.
- Jesus was our Moses.
- Jesus was/is our mediator.
The Redeemed Team