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Hebrews 9:15 | Words Of Truth Weekly

Hebrews 9:15
Volume 22 – Issue 14 – December 5th, 2021
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By: Brian A. Yeager

In continuation of studying about Christ being our high priest of good things to come (Hebrews 9:11-14), we read this: “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 important to recall what “for this cause” is about. The previous passage revealed that the blood of Christ was shed to purge a person’s conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14). Contextually, that is the cause for Jesus being the mediator of the New Testament.

The Greek word translated “mediator” [μεσίτης] is defined as: “a go-between, i.e. (simply) an internunciator, or (by implication) a reconciler (intercessor): — mediator. One who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant; a medium of communication, arbitrator” (Strong’s # 3316). Notice the other passages wherein we find this word being used:
“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one… For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises… And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Galatians 3:19-20, I Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:6, and Hebrews 12:24). All of that gives us a clear idea of what Jesus’ role was/is in being a mediator. So, let’s think a bit about the New Testament.

We find the wording of “New Testament” in several passages outside of the context we are currently studying (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, I Corinthians 11:25, and II Corinthians 3:6). The Greek word translated “testament” [διαθήκη] is defined as: “properly, a disposition, i.e. (specially) a contract (especially a devisory will): — covenant, testament. A disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will; a compact, a covenant, a testament; God’s covenant with Noah, etc.” (Strong’s # 1242). By there being a New Testament that implies there was an Old Testament (II Corinthians 3:14). The way that appears in modern Bibles is Genesis - Malachi. We should know that there was a period of time before the Law of Moses took place (Genesis - Exodus chapter twenty). From the book of Exodus forward, there are several sections in that Old Testament. Jesus referred to the things spoken of old as the Law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

The Law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms were in full effect until the preaching of John (Matthew 11:13 and Luke 16:16). After the death of Jesus, those things of Old were taken out of the way (Colossians 2:14). We will be studying more about all of that in the verses coming in the context we are currently studying. So, from here, let’s consider more about Hebrews 9:15. In particular, let’s consider the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

In the epistle to the saints in Rome, the inspired Apostle Paul wrote about how all those who lived in the past needed a savior (Romans 3:1-23). In part, he was trying to silence the ignorance of the Jews that thought they were better than the Gentiles and vice versa (Romans 3:27-31). In that context, these words were penned:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:23-26). With that and what we read in Hebrews 9:15, we can conclude that the blood of Christ not only saved going forward, but also those that had died in the past under the Law of Moses. For Gentiles, not under the Law of Moses (Ephesians 2:11-17), they were a “law unto themselves” (Romans 2:12-16). If you read through the reference I just cited, you will see that their consciences are mentioned. Remember, the blood of Christ was shed to clear the conscience.

Eternal life through Jesus Christ was not preached under the Law of Moses, the Psalms, and the prophets. In fact, it was all a mystery to them (I Peter 1:1-12). Though there were a great number of faithful people that we learn from even to this day (i.e. Hebrews 11:1-38), they did not receive the promise we now have today (Hebrews 11:39-40). God is fair. He did not have those men and women suffer through life in this world and then leave them without salvation. Imagine what a surprise “Paradise” (Luke 16:19-31 and Luke 23:39-43) was for those who formerly may have thought life ended at death.

This one passage we are looking at answers so many questions that faithful students of the Scriptures have. What happened to those under the Law of Moses that died, but were obedient? What about those that were part of the remnant from time to time? What happened to those who were outside of Israel, but lived naturally according to the things written in the Law? The blood of Jesus saved them! Jesus truly is the reconciler of things on earth and beyond (Colossians 1:20).

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