Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
Jesus shed His blood for our forgiveness and to bring into effect the new covenant. The Greek word used to describe the Hebrew covenant actually refers to a will or testament.39 A will does not come into effect before the testator (the author of the will) dies (Hebrews 9:16-17). Under the old covenant, animal sacrifices were only a temporary provision of temporary sacrifices till the real, once-and-for-all sacrifice (of the Lamb of God) was made. In the case of the new covenant, Jesus is both the testator and executor of the will-He died for us, and then rose victoriously from the dead to make the new covenant real in our lives.
Moses, after proclaiming God's law to the people, took the blood of calves and sprinkled the blood on the scroll (containing God's covenant and law) and the people. He referred to the blood as ″the blood of the covenant″ (Hebrews 9:20; see Exodus 24:8). He also sprinkled the blood on the tabernacle and its contents (Hebrews 9:21). The operating principle is that ″without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness″ (v. 22).
This same principle applies to Jesus. It is His blood that purifies us from our sins. ″He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant″ (Hebrews 9:15). Through His death we receive God's forgiveness and are saved from the punishment for our sins, for He took our place. His death put into effect the new covenant: ″This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins″ (Matthew 26:28). But Jesus is also the executor of the will. He rose from the dead and now reigns to bring into effect the blessings of the new covenant into our lives, that we ″may receive the promised eternal inheritance″ (Hebrews 9:15).
39Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 369.
How is Christ the ″mediator of a new covenant″ (Hebrews 9:15)? In what way is He both the testator and executor of the will? How does this apply to your life?
Reflect on the blood of Jesus and what it means to you. How does the death of Christ bring you divine forgiveness and His life mediate for you all of God's rich blessings?