“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—for where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator, for a testament is of force after men are death; otherwise, it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.”
Because of His Death, it was enacted; because of His Resurrection it is enforced and enjoyed.
Today’s Manna is difficult to interpret at the outset, especially if we’re not well-versed in legal matters. But, most of us are familiar to some degree with one’s “will-and-testament,” which are written while he’s living, but not implemented until he dies. Or, another way to put it is the designees of benefits or goods in one’s will cannot receive such things until the “testator” dies.
There were five primary covenants or “testaments” in the Old Testament: The Adamic, Noaic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic. And, our author is quick to point out that the Mosaic Covenant was initially received and “dedicated (Grk. ‘egkainizo’—‘inaugurate, consecrate, confirm, etc.’) without blood” (v.18). It was only after Moses had “spoken every precept to all the people according to the Law” (v.19a), that “he took blood of calves and of goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the Book and all the people” (v.19b).
We understand this refers to the introduction and enactment of the Levitical sacrificial system; that’s why “without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Grk. ‘aphesis’—‘freedom, deliverance, pardon, forgiveness, liberty, etc.’) of sin” (v.22b).
Yet, the writer is quick to point out that the Old Testament and its practices were but “patterns (Grk. ‘hupodeigma’—‘an exhibit for imitation or warning, specimen, example, to exemplify, instruct, etc.’) of things in the heavens” (v.23a). And, these “heavenly things themselves (were based upon) better sacrifices than these” (v.23b).
And, what might those “better sacrifices” be?
We know, don’t we?
Quite simply the Blood of Jesus, God’s new, perfect, Passover Lamb. Hallelujah!!
Yes, instead of offering some dumb animal sacrifice for our sins, Jesus gave Himself. Instead of entering into the Holy of Holies in the earthly Temple, which was “made with hands and a figure of the True” (v.24a), our High Priest has “entered into Heaven itself, now to appear in the Presence of God for us” (v.24b). And, it’s there that He is “also able to save them (us) to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for us” (Heb. 7:25). Glory!!
How wonderful to know God’s “last Will and Testament” were based upon Jesus’ Death and enforced by His Resurrection and victory over sin, death and the grave. Why not pause right now and give thanks for the eternal benefits you receive because of it/Him??
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 23, 2011