Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant
Ukraine’s current crisis regarding Russia’s deployment of more than 100,000 troops near the countries’ shared border has Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hoping for a Vatican visit with Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin as soon as possible.
Andriy Yurash, the former head of the Department on Religious Affairs and Nationalities at Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture, told Reuters in a telephone interview, “Ukraine is completely in favour of (using) this very influential, very spiritual place for a meeting. If Russia confirms its will to sit at the table, immediately Ukraine will respond in a positive way.”
Reuters reports that mediations between South Sudan’s factions, Chile and Argentina, and Cuba and the United States have taken place at the Vatican.
If mediation does not occur soon, the world could be looking at another round of bloodshed to temporarily resolve conflict.
Just as eyes turn to Pope Francis to mediate another international conflict, so our hearts should focus on the One who put an end to bloody atonements, Jesus Christ.
As Mediator, Jesus is arbiter, negotiator, witness and surety. That is to say, Christ fulfilled the original, broken covenant, and is the guarantor of the new and renewed covenant. Part of what makes this new covenant so significant is that God will write its laws on our hearts. In other words, nothing outside of our own free will can break this covenant! And when we observe the covenant, we express it to others in love, a mark of the ever-present Holy Spirit.
Connecting: Have you ever been in a situation with another human which (could have) required a mediator? Why could you not resolve it between yourselves?
Sharing: Why did God require animal sacrifice?
- Killing a living creature as a consequence of immoral behaviour might urge people to more deeply consider their actions
- To foreshadow how Christ would save humanity
- The consequence of sin is death and God could not let humanity die off
- God likes the aroma of the burnt sacrifices
- We just can’t say
Applying: What is the root of territorial disputes like that between Ukraine and Russia, and Palestine and Israel? Where in your life does that rotten root appear? Ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in removing it and thank God for the lessons learned from the challenge.