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THE TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST

January 7, 2014

“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.” – Hebrews 9:15

 

It is the mistake of many people – Christians included – to think of the Bible as just a book. Or, even as just a holy book. Because the truly remarkable thing about the Bible is that it is so many things at once: a detailed history, a source of unearthly wisdom, a sacred text…and a contract – a contract more real and binding than any in this life could ever be. See, the two divisions of the Bible aren’t simply called the Old and New Testaments for no reason: they are called so because they are, indeed, testaments – in every sense of the word. These books bear witness – they give testimony – to the Covenants made between God and Man. And the New Testament is the covenant of Christ, who we are told is the “author and finisher of our faith,” (Heb.), and “the Alpha and the Omega,” (Rev.). Jesus Christ isn’t simply an actor on the stage of life…He is the playwright and the grand designer. Everything found within the books we cherish spring from Him, or from His Spirit: all the promises, the provisions, the chance of salvation…all these things are made possible by Him and Him alone.

 

“For where a testament is, there must also be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth,” (Heb. 9:16-17). When we think of the word ‘testament’ in terms of today’s meaning, we might think of – for example – the Last Will and Testament of someone recently deceased. It is this meaning that the author of Hebrews uses to impress upon us the significance of Christ’s death, and it’s relation to His message. If the Gospels are His Testament, than the blood He shed upon the cross is the signature that makes the document valid. It is His blood that gives “force” and “strength” to the terms of our salvation – of the redemption from sin: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission, (Heb. 9:22). The passage in Hebrews goes on to say that, unlike the high priests who had to make annual trips into the tabernacle to shed blood for the remission of sins, Christ had only to do so once: that in His single sacrifice was enough purity to cover all the sins of every living man and woman from that day until the very last moment before His return. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.

 

“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but unto heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” (Heb. 9:24); meaning that He had no reason to enter into a temple that – though sanctified – was still made by mortal hands and but a “figure of the true”; instead, Christ entered into the presence of God “for us”, where He has been since, making intercession on our behalf. Because that is the deal – that is the testament He made: to take our place on the cross, and to stand in our stead before the Lord. In everything He has sought to spare us from sin, from pain – and from that terrible second death. In the verse at the top, Chris is called the “mediator” of the New Testament: this is because He is our intercessor to God – just as He is the facilitator and architect of our salvation…the “author and finisher of our faith”. And, it is the role of the mediator to stand in between two parties in any dispute: just as He stands between us and God, He stands between us and pain; He stands between us and death, between us and judgment…between us and Hell. Knowing all of this about our Lord, how can we not love Him, realizing just how much He loves us? Because in the end, His testament is really just an expression of His love for us: a testimony to His dedication towards such an unworthy people. He willingly shed His blood – the blood of God – to secure our freedom and eternal life. For Him to do all that He did tells me that He must have faith in us…and personally, I think it’s time we returned the favor. Just like it’s time to realize the power of the Testament: the strength and freedom we have in our covenant with Him – and to realize the power in the blood.

 

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of the 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 of dead works to serve the Living God?” – Hebrews 9:14

Be blessed,

Joshua

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