A great deal of impetus is building within the Catholic community to urge the
Pope to bestow the titles of co-Redemptrix, co-Mediatrix and advocate upon the “Virgin” Mary.
I have re-examined several scriptures concerning these offices uniquely fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
The idea of a blood sacrifice to take away sin is well established in God's word. In the Old Testament, animal's blood was used as it pointed forward symbolically to the blood of Jesus' perfect sacrifice that was to be shed on the cross. Hebrews 9:22 says:
“...almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (of sin)
MARY A SINNER
“For by “one” offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified...Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews10:14 & 18)
So we see:
“...by his own blood he entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)
This is also borne out by Ephesians 1:7 and Colosians. 1:14. Perhaps we should look more closely at this word “redemption”. Strong's Concordance no. 629 defines it as “ransom in full...salvation”. Christ did it all. No one else was nailed to that cross.
The title of co-Redemptrix meant “...'co' not meaning 'equal to' but rather 'with'”. I wholeheartedly agree that no one is equal to Jesus Christ on any level.
How is it then “...she 'co-operates' in salvation.”? It is explained that:
“...she 'completes in her flesh' as already in her heart-what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.”
The Bible refutes such man-made imaginings clearly in Hebrews 1:3, (God)
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had BY HIMSELF PURGED OUR SINS, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high....” (Emphasis mine)
The Roman supposition article also stated:
“The climax of her role as Co-Redemptrix with the Redeemer was prophesied to her by the Holy Spirit at the Temple (cf. Lk 2:35). And she who began as Mary, Virgin of Nazareth, became the Co-Redemptrix in its fullest expression through her intimate cooperation and intense suffering at the foot of the cross....”
The Holy Spirit prophesied of her role as Co-Redemptrix in Luke 2:35? Let's look at these scriptures:
“Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yes, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34 & 35)
The majority of the prophecy dealt with Jesus being the sign spoken against so that the thoughts of hearts would be revealed. The part of the prophecy in the parenthesis dealt with the sorrow and grief Mary would experience upon the death of her Son as this prophecy unfolded and as yet not known or understood by her. To watch Jesus endure such intense suffering would certainly feel as though a sword was being thrust through her heart, I have no doubt. What mother could not feel such heart-wrenching pain and agony upon seeing her child tortured and killed in such a hideous manner? But to say this verse prophesied of her role as Co-Redemptrix does violence to the scriptures and impugns the sufficiency of Christ's redemptive work. Remember redemption means “ransom in full”. We are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in CHRIST JESUS.” (Romans 3:24) (Emphasis mine) One should be ever mindful of the danger of wresting scripture and courting destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)
What about her role as Mediatrix for salvation? MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all...” (1 Timothy2:5-6)
Hebrews 9:13-15 explains more fully,
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
The word “advocate” is closely intertwined with mediator. Strong's Concordance defining it as “intercessor, consoler...comforter”. (no.3875) The apostle John makes it very plain who that is:
“...if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
He is also our comforter as declared by Jesus himself in John 14:16-18:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
The Catholic Church has historically taught the intercessory power of Mary and invoked her under the title of “advocate”. It is virtually impossible for her to be able to mediate or intercede for billions of people around the world in hundreds of languages and dialects during prayer and still be available to be with every Catholic at his or her death while being present at every function in her honor while being in attendance at every shrine and church to listen to and answer all petitions. It can't be done. She would have to be omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent (everywhere at once). These are attributes of God alone. In Exodus 34:14 he warns,
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God....”
Isaiah tells us:
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let [hinder] it?” (Isaiah 43:10-13)
Mary was only a creature, she cannot hinder or modify God's judgments as the Catholic church allows its people to believe. In the Glories of Mary, written by the Redemptorist Fathers, we read:
“If God is angry with a sinner, and Mary takes him under her protection, she withholds the avenging arm of her Son, and saves him.” (p.124)
And this on page 248:
“O Immaculate Virgin, prevent thy beloved Son, who is irritated by our sins, from abandoning us to the power of the devil.”
Job is wise in his assessment of this false notion:
“Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?” (Job 4:17-19)
Mary was simply one of God's creations, blessed to bear the body of Jesus to be sure, but nonetheless a creature. Despite the Catholic church's attempts to elevate her status by proclaiming her “Theotokos” or “God Bearer” at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. and her Perpetual Virginity at the Lateran Council in 649, the Immaculate Conception of Mary (not Jesus) in 1854 and finally Mary's Assumption into Heaven in 1950, she remains a created being on a par with the rest of humanity, lost and in need of a loving, saving God and awaiting her glorified body at the resurrection with all other Christians. If this were not so why did she say in Luke 1:47, “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior”? And why was it necessary for her to offer a sin offering as recorded in Luke 2:22-24 if she was without sin? (Compare with Leviticus 12:8) She is a model of humility and obedience just as all believers in Christ should strive to be, but has she attained to Godhood? Is she then a goddess as the name “Queen of Heaven” would lead one to believe? The title “God Bearer” implies she gave birth to God himself. Yet the Creed of Chalcedon adopted by the council in 451 said:
“Born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God according to the manhood” (Emphasis mine).
The expression used was not to glorify Mary, but to emphasize the deity of Jesus Christ against the Nestorians who denied His equality with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
A booklet entitled Is Rome the True Church? very lucidly says on page 20:
“Roman priests call Mary the 'Mother of God,' a name impossible, illogical, and unscriptural. It is impossible, for God can have no mother; He is eternal and without beginning while Mary was born and died within a few short years. It is illogical, for God does not require a mother for His existence. Jesus said, 'Before Abraham was, I am' (Jn.8:58). It is unscriptural for the Bible gives Mary no such contradictory name. Mary was the honored mother of the human body of Jesus - no more - as every Catholic must admit if he wishes to be reasonable and Scriptural. The divine nature of Christ existed from eternity past, long before Mary was born. Jesus never called her “mother”; He called her 'woman' ”.
Since a mother must exist before the child she bears, if you say she's the mother of God, you are putting someone before Him and in effect making that person God. She would for all practical purposes then be the mother of her Creator.
The Psalmist said it well in Psa.73:25:
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
Job understood there is only one that hears us:
“Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?”
What then is our course? Will we heed the word of the Lord and go directly to Him for all our needs? Or will we fall prey to the unscriptural proclamations of fallible men? As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb.4:12-16)
Mary The Mother of Jesus Was a Sinner!
Darrell G. Young
The scriptures say, "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Jesus, God Himself clothed in flesh, is the only exception. Mary needed a saviour and she called Jesus such, saying, "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God MY Savior" (Luke 1:47).
Mary Was Not Exalted Simply Because She Was Jesus' Mother!
The scriptures tell of a woman who said to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked"; but Jesus said to her, "Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:27-28). Hearing and keeping the word of God is what brings the blessing.
Again, Jesus' mother and brethren stood outside desiring to speak to Him but when He was told of it He said, "Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?" And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples and said, "Behold my mother and my brethren: for whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother" (Matthew 12:46-50).
Mary Did Not Remain A Virgin Throughout Life!
The virgin birth of Jesus is Bible, but after Jesus was born Mary gave birth to other children naturally. Scriptures say Jesus was her FIRSTBORN son (Matthew 1:25) not her only son. Saying firstborn infers secondborn. The scriptures also teach that Mary had sons and daughters called brothers and sisters of Jesus (Matthew 13:55-56). Also scriptures say that, "Joseph...knew her not until she had broght forth her firstborn son" (Matthew 1:25).
Mary Cannot Answer Prayer!
Scriptures never teach praying to Mary. True prayers are addressed to the Father in the name of Jesus (1 John 16:23). Scriptures say, "for there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). Also scriptures say, "It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). Mary intercedes for no one.