Neither is there any judge between us, that might lay his hand on us both.
When no man could redeem his neighbour from the grave — God Himself found a ransom. When not one of the beings whom He had formed could offer an adequate expiation — did the Lord of hosts awaken the sword of vengeance against His fellow. When there was no messenger among the angels who surrounded His throne, that could both proclaim and purchase peace for a guilty world — did God manifest in the flesh, descend in shrouded majesty amongst our earthly tabernacles, and pour out His soul unto the death for us, and purchase the Church by His own blood, and bursting away from the grave which could not held Him, ascend to the throne of His appointed Mediatorship; and now He, the lust and the last, who was dead and is alive, and maketh intercession for transgressors, "is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God through Him"; and, standing in the breach between a holy God and the sinners who have offended Him, does He make reconciliation, and lay His hand upon them both. But it is not enough that the Mediator be appointed by God — He must be accepted by man. And to incite our acceptance does He hold forth every kind and constraining argument. He casts abroad over the whole face of the world one wide and universal assurance of welcome. "Whosoever cometh unto Me shall not be cast out." "Come unto Me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Where sin hath abounded, grace hath much more abounded." "Whatsoever ye ask in My name ye shall receive." The path of access to Christ is open and free of every obstacle, which kept fearful and guilty man at an impracticable distance from the jealous and unpacified Lawgiver. He hath put aside the obstacle, and now stands in its place. Let us only go in the way of the Gospel, and we shall find nothing between us and God but the Author and Finisher of the Gospel — who, on the one hand, beckons to Him the approach of man with every token of truth and of tenderness; and on the other hand advocates our cause with God, and fills His mouth with arguments, and pleads that very atonement which was devised in love by the Father, and with the incense of which He was well pleased, and claims, as the fruit of the travail of His soul, all who put their trust in Him; and thus, laying His hand upon God, turns Him altogether from the fierceness of His indignation. But Jesus Christ is something more than the agent of our justification — He is the Agent of our sanctification also. Standing between us and God, He receives from Him of that Spirit which is called "the promise of the Father"; and He pours it forth in free and generous dispensation on those who believe in Him. Without this Spirit there may, in a few of the goodlier specimens of our race, be within us the play of what is kindly in constitutional feeling, and upon us the exhibition of what is seemly in a constitutional virtue; and man thus standing over us in judgment, may pass his verdict of approbation; and all that is visible in our doings may be pure as by the operation of snow water. But the utter irreligiousness of our nature will remain as entire and as obstinate as ever. The alienation of our desires from God will persist with unsubdued vigour in our bosoms; and sin, in the very essence of its elementary principle, will still lord it over the inner man with all the power of its original ascendency — till the deep, and the searching, and the prevailing influence of the love of God be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. This is the work of the great Mediator. This is the might and the mystery of that regeneration, without which we shall never see the kingdom of God. This is the office of Him to whom all power is committed, both in heaven and in earth — who, reigning in heaven, and uniting its mercy with its righteousness, causes them to flow upon earth in one stream of celestial influence; and reigning on earth, and working mightily in the hearts of its people, makes them meet for the society of heaven — thereby completing the wonderful work of our redemption, by which on the one hand He brings the eye of a holy God to look approvingly on the sinner, and on the other hand makes the sinner fit for the fellowship, and altogether prepared for the enjoyment of God. Such are the great elements of a sinner's religion. But if you turn from the prescribed use of them, the wrath of God abideth on you. If you kiss not the Son while He is in the way, you provoke His anger; and when once it begins to burn, they only are blessed who have put their trust in Him. If, on the fancied sufficiency of a righteousness that is without godliness, you neglect the great salvation, you will not escape the severities of that day when the Being with whom you have to do shall enter with you into judgment; and it is only by fleeing to the Mediator, as you would from a coming storm, that peace is made between you and God, and that, sanctified by the faith which is in Jesus, you are made to abound in such fruits of righteousness as shall he to praise and glory at the last and the solemn reckoning.
(T. Chalmers, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.