Q. 16. Why must he be a true and righteous man?
A. Because God’s righteousness requires that man who has sinned should make reparation for sin, but the man who is himself a sinner cannot pay for others.
Q. 17. Why must he at the same time be true God?
A. So that by the power of his divinity he might bear as a man the burden of God’s wrath, and recover for us and restore to us righteousness and life.
Q. 18. Who is this mediator who is at the same time true God and a true and perfectly righteous man?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is freely given to us for complete redemption and righteousness.
Q. 19. Whence do you know this?
A. From the holy gospel, which God himself revealed in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, afterward proclaimed through the holy patriarchs and prophets and foreshadowed through the sacrifices and other rites of the Old Covenant, and finally fulfilled through his own well-beloved Son.
These questions today bring us to the heart of our Christian Faith. If you want to know how Christianity is different from all the other religions in the world, look no further. The Apostle Paul wrote, “God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Cor 5:19). In no other religion will you find God breaking the barrier between the transcendent and the immanent. Only in Christ will you find God bearing our burden of sin and restoring us to righteousness and life. Indeed, Christ alone is “our righteousness, our holiness, our redemption” (1 Cor 1:30).
The entire testimony of Scripture makes this known. From Genesis to Revelation we are promised a deliverer, and we find our deliverer in Christ. The law demonstrated our need, the prophets told us what to expect, the Temple sacrifice foreshadowed how Christ would complete our salvation.
The truth remains, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ we come to you, we praise you, and we give you thanks for our righteousness, our holiness, our redemption which is a gift from Christ’s own hand. We thank you that there is no other name but Jesus, not even our own, by which we are saved. It is in his name we pray. Amen.