Every Sunday, we will be going through one of the fifty-two Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism. Written in the year 1563, the Heidelberg still remains a popular confession of faith in many churches to this day. You can find the full text here.
Lord’s Day Six
Question 16: Why must he be a true and righteous man?
Answer: He must be a true man
because the justice of God requires
that the same human nature which has sinned
should pay for sin. 1
He must be a righteous man
because one who himself is a sinner
cannot pay for others. 2
1.Rom 5:12, 15; 1 Cor 15:21; Heb 2:14-16.
2.Heb 7:26, 27; 1 Pet 3:18.
Question 17: Why must he at the same time be true God?
Answer: He must be true God
so that by the power of his divine nature 1
he might bear in his human nature
the burden of God’s wrath, 2
and might obtain for us
and restore to us
righteousness and life. 3
2.Deut 4:24; Nahum 1:6; Ps 130:3.
3.Is 53:5, 11; Jn 3:16; 2 Cor 5:21.
Question 18: But who is that Mediator
who at the same time is true God
and a true and righteous man?
Answer: Our Lord Jesus Christ, 1
who has become for us wisdom from God – that is,
our righteousness, holiness
and redemption (1 Cor 1:30).
1.Mt 1:21-23; Lk 2:11; 1 Tim 2:5; 3:16.
Question 19: From where do you know this?
Answer: From the holy gospel,
which God himself first revealed in Paradise. 1
Later, he had it proclaimed
by the patriarchs 2
and prophets, 3
by the sacrifices and other ceremonies
of the law. 4
Finally, he had it fulfilled
through his only Son. 5
2.Gen 12:3; 22:18; 49:10.
3. Is 53; Jer 23:5, 6; Mic 7:18-20; Acts 10:43; Heb 1:1.
4. Lev 1-7; Jn 5:46; Heb 10:1-10.
5.Rom 10:4; Gal 4:4, 5; Col 2:17.
If you’ve been following along with us in the Heidelberg, you know that a hefty price for sin must be paid and we are hopelessly in debt. We need someone better than us. Someone to represent our humanity because of our sin, but at the same time, someone able to receive the full wrath of God for our sin. This Mediator must be both God and man. This Mediator must possess full humanity, with all it weaknesses, yet not give in to them. He must remain holy. This mediator must also be divine, for simple man would crumble under the mere whisper of God’s wrath. None of us fit this description. This Mediator must then come from someplace else. And that’s exactly what God promises us. From the beginning in the garden, through all the prophets, through all the shadows and types, God shouts to humanity that the Mediator is coming. And on a clear night, in fields just outside of Bethlehem, a choir of angels sang the news humanity had been longing to hear…”The Mediator is here!”
“The divinity, humanity, and sinlessness of Christ are absolutely essential, because without sinless humanity the atonement would be unrepresentative, and without divinity it would be ineffective. As such, it is not just that Jesus is the only mediator we have; Jesus is the only mediator we could have had.” Andrew Wilson