JESUS' LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
Ever read something for maybe the umteenth time but suddenly this time you find something new in the text? That happened to me this morning while reading Hebrews chapter 9. The commentator wrote that the Greek word for 'will' is the same as for 'covenant', then stated the obvious, that a person has to die before their will can come into effect. In Biblical terms, that means that Jesus had to die before the new covenant could take effect. There are usually beneficiaries to a will and as that means us, what is our inheritance?
And then the thought process started.
What is the New Covenant or Jesus' Will? Jeremiah stated it clearly in Chapter 31:31 ff ..."and I will write my law on their hearts", referring to the Holy Spirit now being given to all people, whereas in the Old Testament, God restricted the giving of his Spirit to only those who were chosen or who were given a specific task.
Now, what of the inheritance?
Our inheritance is eternal life, this being spelt out clearly in John 3:16 which mentions Jesus' death and God's gift of eternal life to those who believe in Jesus. So that's it? There used to be a popular saying that a person could be so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly use and Jesus sure did have more to say on this subject.
After his resurrection and just before he ascended to heaven, Jesus told his disciples "Go into all the world and peach the gospel......" This is called the Great Commission and is for all followers of Jesus.( Matthew 28:19) So how do we go about this? In 1 Corinthians 12:27 ff, Paul talks about the gifts God gives us when we receive his Spirit. (If you have read my other blogs, you would see that I am a teacher) but after reading this list, Paul leads straight into Chapter 13, that wonderful exposition on love, making it very clear that using our God given gifts is a waste of time if there is no love.
So how do we put love into practice? Galations 5:22 lists the fruit of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God, so these attributes should be evident in our lives and if they are not, then we need to have a real good conversation with God - more like a long consultation.
Jesus had a will, one written a few thousand years before his death, with parts of the will being revealed to various people such as Abraham, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Joel just to mention just a few . In reading his will, we, the beneficiaries, receive eternal life but instead of 'spending' this inheritance solely on ourselves, the terms of the will clearly state that we are to tell others that they are beneficiaries too. The will then declares that as beneficiaries, we are given gifts to carry out the terms of the will and we do this by displaying the 'fruit of the spirit'. As someone has said, 'there may even be occasions when we need to speak' for 'actions speak louder than words'.
A different way to look at the 'New Covenant'.