Anyone who has had to go through mediation in some legal sense knows that it is not necessarily a pleasant experience. In fact, going to mediation means that unresolved tension dominates the proceedings—at least for one party, if not both. Mediation is thus the means of bringing these two parties together to bridge the gap that remains in order to resolve that tension. This makes a good mediator indispensable at resolving arbitration matters in professional sports and helping couples come to some resolution of their difficulties. However, just getting to the point of arbitration and mediation can tear at the soul.
As Job languished in his attempt to convince his friends of his innocence, he lamented that he was not in a position to speak to God on the matter and that no mediator existed to come to his aid. “For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both” (Job 9:32-33). You have to hear the desperation in his words to appreciate them fully. Job had lost every ally he once had in life. His children were dead. His wife encouraged him to end his misery in death. His friends came on the scene only to accuse and blame. Thus, Job knew that he and God were the only ones who knew the truth. However, he knew that he had no right to sue God for damages. Nor was that possible. Therefore, he wished for someone, anyone he could ask, to take his difficulty before God to receive some answer and relief. In Job’s frustration he sought resolution—some means to establish and maintain his innocence when everything had turned against him.
For Job, this was a lament related to his suffering. Yet it expresses a need too essential to deny. Man does need a mediator to take his case before God. But what man could dare approach God? For Job this was a rhetorical question, but for us the need is real spiritually and the question sincere. However, God recognized this before we did—before Job did. In His wisdom, He provided the Mediator we needed. He sent His Son (Jn. 3:16) to become our propitiation, but even more, to become the advocate we so desperately needed (1 Jn. 2:1-2), one to stand before God on our behalf and plead our case. It is a fact taken for granted today so much that we fail to understand the desperation we would feel without it. But thanks be to God that He addressed the tension and provided the resolution Job longed for so long ago. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).