"For where there is a testament it is necessary for the death of the testator to be established. A testament is operative only after a death" (Hebrews 9:16, 17, NEB).
In his illuminating exposition on the atonement of Christ and His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, the apostle Paul compares Christ to the testator of a will. By definition, a testator is one who makes a will. In what sense is the metaphor of the testator applicable to Christ?
The word, testator, occurs only twice in the Bible (see Hebrews 9:16, 17). It is used in the setting of Paul's extensive discussion on the atonement of Christ and His mediation of the new covenant. The Greek word translated, covenant, may also be rendered, "testament," in the sense of a "will" (see Hebrews 7:22). The apostle Peter reminds believers that through Christ's sacrifice, we have "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven" (1 Peter 1:4, 5, NKJV). Moreover, we have the assurance that the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance (see Ephesians 1:13, 14).
Paul indicated that the inheritance we have in Christ became operative when the testator died on the cross. Just as a will can go into effect only when the testator dies, so the Christian's inheritance became operative when Jesus died. As God's redeemed people, our eternal inheritance is guaranteed and reserved in heaven for us by the death of the testator. "Christ died to purchase salvation for us. He was raised for our justification, and He ever lives to make intercession for us. His life and death bring salvation to every believing child of God. By His death we are reconciled to God; by His life, as it is wrought out in our life, we shall be saved... We have the deed to an immortal inheritance, the title papers to a life that measures with the life of God."--Signs of the Times, June 17, 1913.
My Prayer Today: Lord, I thank You for the incorruptible inheritance You have reserved in heaven for me. Amen.