Six words about the Virgin Mary — #5 “ONE”

“For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus” I Timothy 2:5 Douay-Rheims Catholic version.

A mediator is someone who intervenes between estranged parties to effect a reconciliation. A mediatrix is a female mediator, a go-between, a negotiator who acts as a link between parties. Note: There is no such thing as a “mediatrix” in the Bible.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is the “one” mediator between us and God–but that Mary is, too. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 969, calls Mary “Mediatrix”: “. . . by her manifold intercession [she] continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”

The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori has a chapter entitled “Mary Our Mediatrix,” which says Mary is “the most faithful mediatrix of salvation. She has been made the ladder to paradise, the gate to heaven, the most true mediatrix between God and human beings. No creature has since received any grace from God except through the hands of Mary. Are we then going to scruple to ask her to save us when (as St. Germanus says) no one is saved except through her?

(Note:  All that is attributed to Mary in the above paragraph is attributed exclusively to Jesus Christ in the Bible.)  

Not only Mary but individuals who have been declared saints by the Magisterium are “subordinate mediators.”

Catholics teach that Mary is also co-redeemer with Christ. A redeemer is someone charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs.  A Catholic website says,  “By ‘coredemption’ we mean Mary’s unique participation in ‘the payment of the price’ of our Redemption:  through, with, in, and under Christ, our only Savior and Redeemer.”

Pope John Paul II called all Christians to become “co-redeemers in Christ.”  Catholic convert and enthusiastic apologist for the Catholic faith Scott Hahn speaks of  “Mary’s coredemption, and ours.” (Hail, Holy Queen, page 126, italics mine.)

The Catholic Church seems unclear on the meaning of the word “one.”

By contrast, The Bible says there is only ONE mediator between God and us: Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is THE Redeemer. According to the Bible, no one else–Mary, saints, believers, even if they are co-workers with Jesus, can be co-mediator or co-redeemer with Jesus Christ by definition–because there is only one Mediator, only one Redeemer and that is Jesus Christ. He Himself says,  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 D-R. He does not mention his mother.

Yes, we are God’s co-workers:  I Corinthians 3:9  (The Douay-Rheims version uses an older word–in fact I have never heard of it– “coadjutors.” The Greek synergoi means fellow workers, laborers together, assistants.) But being one of the workers on a building project does not make one co-architect, co-designer or co-foreman.

And as being the mother of God’s son does not make Mary the mother of God, so being one of His co-workers does not, cannot, make Mary, the Pope, Mother Teresa or any believer co-Redeemer nor co-Mediator.

Mary needed a Savior because she could not redeem herself or be her own mediator. How much less can she redeem or even help redeem, mediate for, or deliver anyone else?

Uniquely, Jesus Christ was the one who redeemed us. How?

1) By being made a curse for us: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree–” Galatians 3:13 D-R

2) By becoming sin for us:  “Him, who knew no sin, [God] hath made sin for us, that we might be made the justice of God in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 D-R

3) By emptying out His blood in death for us:  “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled–” I Peter 1:18-19 D-R

Has Mary become a curse for us? Did she  “hang on a tree (cross)” for our sins? Has she become sin for us? Has she poured out her blood for our salvation? Is Mary the Christ, our Messiah? Is she God’s lamb, the sacrifice for our sins? If not, she is not qualified to mediate for us or capable of redeeming even the smallest, seemingly harmless innocent sin.

To say any human being can add our righteousness to God’s is a slap in His face. According to Isaiah 64: 6, “our righteousness is as filthy rags.” The Douaty-Rheims accurately translates this, “And we are all become as one unclean, and all our justices as the rag of a menstruous woman–” How dare we offer God menstrual rags to help pay for our sins? It is both monstrously ignorant and monstrously arrogant. It is a slap in God’s face. It undermines the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

The distance caused between God and us by our sin could only be bridged by the  sinless son of God. Hebrews 10:11-22 D-R is such an important passage in this regard I’m going to quote it in full:

“And every priest indeed standeth daily ministering and often offering the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But this man, offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right hand of God,  From henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. And the Holy Ghost also doth testify this to us. For after that he said:  And this is the testament which I will make unto them after those days, saith the Lord. I will give my laws in their hearts and on their minds will I write them:  And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more. Now, where there is a remission of these, there is no more an oblation for sin.  Having therefore, brethren, a confidence in the entering into the holies by the blood of Christ:  A new and living way which he hath dedicated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh:  And a high priest over the house of God: Let us draw near with a true heart, in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.

He redeemed us, saved us through the shedding of His blood and the rending of His body in crucifixion. The veil of the temple is a type of His flesh. At the moment of His death, “the veil of the temple was rent [torn, split] in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent.” Matthew 27:51 D-R

This veil hung between the holy place where the priests went about their sacred duties and the Holy of Holies where only one mediator could go, the High Priest, and then only if he took with him the blood of an innocent lamb to cover the people’s sins.

It was a thick woven curtain, yet it was torn supernaturally from heaven to earth. This, the Bible says, represents God the Father tearing down the wall between Himself and us–not just to cover our sins for one year as Jewish priests did but doing away with our sins forever through the single sacrifice of the Lamb of God, making possible our direct access to the Father.

Jesus does not need a mediator. He IS the mediator! He does not need help mediating. When He had mediated our salvation, He said, “IT IS FINISHED!”


About Jessica Renshaw
This entry was posted in Bible study, faith, Reconcilable and Irreconcilable Differences and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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