When there is a ·will [last will and testament; C the same Greek word translated “agreement” in v. 15; the author develops his illustration from the various meanings of the word], it must be proven that the one who wrote that ·will [last will and testament] is dead.
Christ is consequently the administrator of an entirely new agreement, having the power, by virtue of his death, to redeem transgressions committed under the first agreement: to enable those who obey God’s call to enjoy the promises of the eternal inheritance. For, as in the case of a will, the agreement is only valid after death. While the testator lives, a will has no legal power. And indeed we find that even the first agreement of God’s will was not put into force without the shedding of blood. For when Moses had told the people every command of the Law he took calves’ and goats’ blood with water and scarlet wool, and sprinkled both the book and all the people with a sprig of hyssop, saying: ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you’.
Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way.
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