“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Today’s powerful verse passage reminds us that in all the world, Jesus Christ is our only avenue to a right relationship with God. In Him alone we are made acceptable (Ephesians 1:6). Possessing all authority in heaven and on earth (Mathew 28:18), our Lord is He “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Truly, all our sufficiency is in Him. Many non-Christian religions have adopted the belief that those who have died, whether they be our immediate loved ones or distant ancestors or even great figures in the founding and early history of a particular religion, are somehow capable of communicating with, and giving aid to, those in the land of the living. As Christians, we must lay aside our personal preferences and desires and instead conform our views of reality to what is revealed in the Bible. God’s word teaches that those who have died in faith are even now, in their spiritual natures, with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23). One day the Lord will raise and glorify their bodies and at long last His redeemed will be perfect in every respect (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3). A great reunion is planned where we will all sit down together and dine with Jesus (Matthew 8:11; Luke 12:37). Until that time, there remains a chasm between the dead in Christ and those on earth. Paul wrote to the Philippians “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:23-24). In other words, Paul wanted to die and be with Christ but he knew once that occurred he could be of no earthly help to anyone. The Lord Jesus explained to His disciples, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4). Clearly, death prevents a person from influencing affairs in the land of the living. The Lord spoke directly to this in His account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16). We are told outright in that remarkable chapter that it is impossible for the dead to return to give witness to the living (v.27-29). “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel,” wrote Asaph, “and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee”(Psalm 73:24-25). Instead of consulting the dead, we ought to be consulting God’s infallible word (Isaiah 8:19-20), which was given for our learning, that we might receive patience, comfort, and hope (Romans 15:4). May this be true of us, and may this meditation edify, guide, and strengthen you today.