All In

Last year, a business matter I was involved with went to mediation. A dispute had risen between the company I work for and another, and though we tried to work it out among ourselves, it just wasn’t happening . . . and so, we went to a third party. Interesting process. We arrived at the mediator’s offices and were seated in one conference room. Representatives from the other company were seated in another room. The mediator then went back and forth between the two rooms . . . getting more facts . . . seeking understanding . . . passing on information . . . tendering offers . . . providing legal expertise as appropriate . . . trying to bring the two parties together on a mutually agreeable resolution. But one thing that the mediator made sure to let us know was that he was impartial . . . he had no “dog in this fight” . . . the outcome was of no personal interest or importance to him.

This morning, as I continue reading in Paul’s letter to Timothy, I’m reminded of another mediation I’ve been involved with . . . but in this case, the Mediator had a very personal stake in the outcome . . . He had deep convictions about what needed to happen . . . far from being an impartial third party, this Mediator was all in.

For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.    (1Timothy 2:5-6 ESV)

God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Tim. 2:4). But there’s a problem . . . a three letter word . . . begins with “s” . . . ends with “in”. Holy, holy, holy and just God in “one room” . . . less than holy men and women in the other . . . their sin separating them from their Creator . . . their transgression creating a chasm that no human effort can bridge. But God in His great love for us, initiated mediation . . . appointed a Mediator . . . His own blessed Son . . . second Person of the Trinity. And He, far being some some impartial, aloof go-between, was all in.

First the Mediator entered our stage . . . making “Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Php. 2:7). For the sake of reconciliation, the Son of God took on flesh that He might enter the dynamics of “the dispute” in a very close and personal way. Not that it was about God understanding man, but that Jesus might be able to reveal to men something about God . . . and about His kingdom . . . and about the problem . . . and about the solution.

But though He could teach of the kingdom . . . though He could call people to repentance . . . though He could reveal the Father in and through Himself . . . though He could turn people’s hearts towards heaven . . . there was still this chasm to be dealt with. There were wages of sin to be paid . . . there was a debt owed that needed to be settled . . . and frankly, the party this side of heaven (aka me) was bankrupt . . . nothing to be offered . . . no amount of good works or sincere effort that could be enough. I needed a Mediator who was all in.

And so, my Mediator gave Himself as a ransom for all . . . “and being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Php. 2:8). He paid the price for my release . . . He settled the debt with His own blood . . . He bridged the chasm through His sacrifice on the cross and through the victorious power of His resurrection from the grave. And then, by His loving grace, the Shepherd sought me and brought me into the fold . . . through His wooing Spirit, the Bridegroom allowed my heart to hear Him calling me to be His betrothed . . . all possible because “Jesus paid it all . . . all to Him I owe . . . sin had left a crimson stain . . . He washed it white as snow” (good ol’ hymn).

There is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all . . .

Praise God for a Mediator who is all in! Amen?

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