The Mediator of the New Covenant

Heb. 12:24.---' Ye are come . . . to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.

What is the notion that underlies the old-fashioned, and to some of us obsolete and unwelcome, word 'covenant'? Why! simply this---a definite disclosure He is prepared to stand and to be bound. A covenant is a revelation, but a revelation that obliges the Revealer to a certain course of conduct; or, if you would rather have a less theological word, it is a system of promise under which God mercifully has willed that we should live. And just as, when a king gives forth a proclamation, he is bound by the fact that he gave it forth, so God, out of all the infinite possibilities of His action, condescends to tell us what His line is to be. He lets us see the works of the clock, not wholly, but in so far as we are affected by His action.

The new Covenant was not expressed in words, but in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was the living Word of the Father, in whom the Father's mind was known and heard, in whom the Father's new and better promises were plainly written out. We have in the Lord Jesus Christ an eternal pledge and bond and means of union with the invisible God. In sending His only-begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, to be born, to live, and to die as a man, and then to be raised again and exalted by the glory of the Father, God not only said more expressively than any words could say it, 'Ye who share the flesh and blood which my Son has worn shall be my sons and daughters,' but He showed us in what kind of sonship we were to be united with Him, what fatherly love would flow down from Him upon us, with what filial feelings we might look up to Him, what a holy spirit would bind the heart of God to man, and the hearts of men to God. Jesus, the Son of God, is the living Mediator of the New Covenant, in whom God has declared Himself to us, in whom we have access to God.

Where shall a poor man rest his soul outside of the direct or indirect influences of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ? The very men who reject Him today, on the plea that they have learnt a nobler conception of God than they can find in Christianity, owe their conception of Him to the gospel which they reject. Where else is there certitude solid enough to resist the pressure of sorrow and of sin; confidence enough to maintain faith in the face of difficulty and conscious evil and death; or all-controlling influence and an all-gladdening stay, except in Jesus Christ? Nowhere beyond the limits to which either the river of the water of life has manifestly flowed, or where some brook and rivulets from it have crept underground to give strange health and vigor to growing vegetation to some far-off pasture---nowhere else is there found the confidence in the Father's heart which is the property of the Christian man, and the result of the Christian Covenant. Jesus Christ brings God to man by the declaration of His nature incarnate in humanity.

And, on the other hand, He brings man to God; for He stands to each of us as our true Brother, united to all and in ever nation to us by such close and real bonds that all that He has been and done may be ours if we join ourselves to Him by faith. And He brings men to God, because in Him alone do we find the drawings that incline wayward and wandering hearts to the Father. And He seals for us that great covenant in His own person and work, in so far as what He in Manhood has done has made it possible that such promises should be given to us. And, still further, He is the Mediator of the covenant, in so far as He himself possesses in His humanity all the blessings which Manhood is capable of deriving from the Father, and He has them all in order that He may give them all. There is the great Reservoir from which all men may fill their tiny cups.

Men tell us that they want no mediator between them and God. Go down into your own hearts; try to understand what sin is; and then go up as near as you can to the dazzling white light, and try partially to conceive of what God's holiness is---do you think you, as you are, could walk in that light and not be consumed? Surely no man who has any deep knowledge of his own heart, and any, though it be inadequate, yet true, conception of the Divine nature, would dare take upon his lips that boast which we often hear---'We need none to come between us and God.' Rather would he thankfully hear Christ say, 'No man cometh to the Father but by me,' and pray for grace to tread in that only way that leadeth unto God.

Natural Religion, is based upon the sense of sin; it recognizes the disease, but it cannot find, it does not look out for, the remedy. That remedy, both for guilt and for moral impotence, is found in the central doctrine of Revelation, the Mediation of Christ. Thus it is that Christianity has been able from the first to occupy the world and gain a hold on every class of human society to which it preachers reached; this is why the Romans power and the multitude of religions which it embraced could not stand against it; this is the secret of its sustained energy, and its never-flagging martyrdoms; this is how at present it is so mysteriously potent, in spite of the new and fearful adversaries which beset its path. It has with it that gift of sound faith and healing the one deep wound of human nature, which avails more for its success than a full encyclopedia of scientific knowledge and a whole library of controversy, and therefore it must and will last while human nature will last.

In Christ, timothy. maranatha