We are in the process of updating a legal document for our family. We realized that we had not done so since our firstborn died; actually this will be the first update since it was first written. I don’t know if you find yourself in a similar situation, but this devotional was timely for me to read and perhaps it will be informative for you as well.
~100 Favorite Bible Promises explains the biblical legal document for our understanding ~
Because Christ offered himself to God, he is able to bring a new promise [testament, covenant] from God. Through his death he paid the price to set people free from the sins they committed under the first promise. He did this so that those who are called can be guaranteed an inheritance that will last forever. Hebrews 9:15, GW
Words like mediator, covenant, and inheritance in the book of Hebrews give the impression of a legal document. Actually, the entire book of Hebrews differs in writing style from the rest of the letters in the New Testament. Its unknown author presents a thesis-like case, methodically stating why faith in Jesus is a logical and God-designed spiritual progression from Judaism.
The verse at the heart of what the author wanted his readers to understand proclaims that Jesus is both a mediator, “someone who makes peace between two parties,” and a testator, “someone who determines the conditions and benefits of the inheritance he leaves behind.” The words testament and covenant are interchangeable. The Old Testament and the New Testament could just as easily be called the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, since the two parts of the Bible really focus on covenant. Under the Old Covenant, or Old Testament, God accepted the sacrifice of animals as a way to cover up the wrongs people had done. Under the New Covenant, the wrongs were permanently erased by a different kind of sacrifice ~ Jesus’ gift of his own life.
A will and testament is only valid after someone dies, and then it is irrevocable. That means Jesus’ death guaranteed your inheritance. Jesus saved your life by substituting his own in payment for every wrong you’ve ever done and ever will do. Because of this, you will receive what you never could have earned on your own ~ the ultimate freedom of living a life that never ends. Jesus’ testament to you is not only a guarantee, but it is also a true source of encouragement. When God makes a promise, it’s like a legal document. He will fulfill every word. Amen