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The Only Bridge

21 February 2012 by Daniel

Q. 57. What benefits has Christ procured by his mediation?
A. Christ, by his mediation, hath procured redemption, with all other benefits of the covenant of grace.

Let me begin with the proposition that Adam had no need to not pray to God prior to the fall. I think this is self evident as, prior to the fall, Adam spoke with God face to face. The curse that God pronounced upon Adam (and subsequently all of mankind) included being driven from the presence of God. Being outside the presence of God, when a person spoke to God, God would neither hear them nor answer them, lest His righteousness oblige Him to enter into judgment with them.

Anyone who soberly meditates on this banishment should eventually see that this was really a profound expression of God's mercy. Adam deserved an immediate judgment, but was granted a suspended sentence. This not only put God's grace on public display, it also provided the necessary means for God's redemptive plan to take effect.

One might wonder, why the banishment? Why not just endure Adam's sin? Scripture is unapologetic: [God is] "...of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong" (c.f. Habakkuk 1:13). To be in God's presence as a sinner, is to be in judgment. That's an important concept because unless one "gets" that, one will not understand (and therefore cannot fully appreciate) Christ's mediation on our behalf. As a sinner, I cannot stand before God apart from God entering into judgment with me - and that includes standing before God in prayer.

Christ Himself is the throne of grace that God has made available to us. Not a throne in the sense of something you sit in, but in the sense of representing Him who sits upon that throne (Christ). We may approach God through Christ, and only through Christ. No prayer is heard on high except through the mediation of Christ apart from whom no man can come to God (in prayer or otherwise).

This was one of the fruits of God's redemptive plan. It was and is through Christ that God has secured for His church the only means by which sinful creatures can commune with their holy God. Christ is the bridge -the only bridge- between us and God. Our prayers are heard, today (even as they were heard when we were yet sinners) because God chose before hand to redeem us, and to reconcile us to Himself through His Christ. This is what it means to mediate: Christ is the soul point of contact between fallen man and a holy God.