Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Postscript on Mediation

One more update on the topic Pastor Wedgeworth and I have recently posted on, the end of Christ’s priestly mediation between the Father and the faithful in the eschaton.

The annotator of Augustine’s On the Trinity, which I discussed in the first post, in the NPNF series was the Presbyterian theologian W.G.T. Shedd. In addition to giving Scripture references in the notes, Shedd offers a number of lengthier glosses in his notes. One of these is n.112 in On the Trinity 1.10 on the question of the discontinuance of Christ’s mediation. I’m not sure he gets Augustine quite right here (he does hedge with the word “probably,” it should be pointed out in fairness), but it is a good example of someone trying to square the Augustinian position represented in Calvin with a more permanent place for Christ’s intercession that Shedd takes to be necessitated by Hebrews 7.17.

The redeemed must forever stand in the relation of redeemed sinners to their Redeemer. Thus standing, they will forever need Christ’s sacrifice and intercession in respect to their past sins in this earthly state. But as in the heavenly state they are sinless, and are incurring no new guilt, it is true that they do not require the fresh application of atoning blood for new sins, nor Christ’s intercession for such. This is probably what Augustin means by saying that Christ “no longer makes intercession for us,” when he has delivered up the kingdom to God. When the Mediator has surrendered his commission, he ceases to redeem sinners from death, while yet he continues forever to be the Head of those whom he has redeemed, and their High Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. vii. 17.)

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.