Sun, Sep 30, 2018
The Will and Testament of Jesus
Hebrews 9:15-17 by Vincent Bradshaw
Series: The Book of Hebrews

The New Covenant supersedes the Old.  The transition from the Old Covenant to the New is the greatest transition in the Bible short of the actual transfer of a sinner in an earthly body to heaven to be with Christ.  The transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is the reason why we have two testaments, one Hebrew and one Greek, in our Bible.  The New Covenant ministry of Christ is the greatest state of grace that a redeemed sinner can experience this side of seeing Christ in heaven. 

Hebrews 9:15 – 17 is about the transition.  The first section of Chapter 9, vv. 1- 10 explained that the Old Testament Tabernacle was a symbol (9:9), not ultimate reality.  It was the temporary café where God agreed to meet His people from behind a screen since the people of God were not yet admitted to His heavenly home (9:8).  In order to visit God in this temporary meeting place, one constantly had to pay the price of animal blood (9:10), which only had currency on earth.  However, when Christ appeared, He opened up the very heavens and the eternal home of God to redeemed sinners (9:11).  Never before had someone paid the admission price for saints to enter into heaven, and never before had the saints of all ages been welcome into the abode of God since Jesus Christ the Son had not yet entered to let others in.

Hebrews 9:15 – 17 likens this transition to a will.  “Will” and “testament” can mean the same thing.  For instance, someone may refer to one’s “last will and testament.”  This is because one definition of a testament is “a person’s will, especially the part relating to personal property.”  Although a testament does not always involve death, the most common use of the term denotes a will, or the bequeathing of an inheritance to an heir after a person’s death.  This is the sense of the word “testament” or “covenant” that the writer is utilizing in 9:15 – 17.  One can look at the New Covenant as Jesus’ Testament, or the transfer of the incredible riches of the Son to the heirs of salvation (Romans 8:17) as a result of His death.

The term “will” denotes a person’s wishes.  When a person desire’s something, he says, “It is my will that this happen.”  This is the meaning of the word in the context of a will or testament.  It expresses what a person wants to happen after his death, and wills often contain provisions and stipulations.  The provisions are the blessings, or what an heir gets when the person (testator) dies.  The stipulations are what the heir must do in order to get the inheritance.  Every will is different as far as provisions and stipulations.  The Old Covenant, which was a will, offered the provision of sustained life but the stipulation was that the worshipper had to keep the law perfectly.  The Old Covenant was not a favorable covenant.  In contrast, the New Covenant provides eternal life in heaven with God as long as the heir meets the stipulation of loving, trusting and worshipping the Son of God Who provided heaven for him.  The New Covenant is the Gospel, and is the most favorable will in eternity.

 

Don’t miss out on an eternity with God, the Son’s Will and Testament