There was an old agreement (aka covenant or testament). I wasn’t a party to the old agreement. Jesus has initiated a new agreement. I do share in that one. That is very good news. With it comes an eternal inheritance. That is stunning. I must take it seriously as I have reciprocal responsibilities.
Therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in effect while the one who made it is living. That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you. In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. | Hebrews 9:15-22 (Christian Standard Bible)
Here are some key ideas:
- The Greek word for covenant is διαθήκη diathēkē, (dee-ath-ay´-kay). It means the verbal content of an agreement between two persons specifying reciprocal benefits and responsibilities—‘covenant, pact.’ ἀνθρώπου κεκυρωμένην διαθήκην οὐδεὶς ἀθετεῖ ἢ ἐπιδιατάσσεται ‘no one can break or add to a covenant which is in effect between people”.
- The blessings under the Old Agreement depended on the obedience of God’s people. If they obeyed God, He blessed them; but if they disobeyed, He withheld His blessings. Not only were the blessings temporary, but they were primarily temporal—rain, bumper crops, protection from enemies and sickness, etc. Israel’s Canaan inheritance involved material blessings.
- Our eternal inheritance is primarily spiritual in nature. Note that the emphasis is on eternal—“eternal redemption” and “eternal inheritance”. A believer can have confidence because all that he has in the anointed Messiah is eternal.
- There was no final and complete redemption under the Old Agreement. Those transgressions were covered by the blood of the many sacrifices, but not cleansed until the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah on the cross. Since Jesus has accomplished an eternal redemption, we are able to share in an eternal inheritance.
- The ministry of Jesus is effective to deal with our missing God’s goal (aka sins). His finished work on earth and His unfinished work of intercession in heaven are sufficient and efficient.
- Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Heb 9:1–28). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 311). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 451). New York: United Bible Societies.
- Strong, J. (1996). The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.