Links Daily Devotional

Our Amazing Inheritance

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15, NIV)

All sports have them. Football’s Mannings, baseball’s Griffeys, basketball’s Currys, golf’s Haases. These are just a few of the families that have taken their place generationally in their respective games, with fathers passing on their positions to their sons after them.

Some of it is genetic, of course. Awkward offspring aren’t going to make the big leagues. Some of it is interest. Even athletic children may choose a different sport. But some of it is both intentional on the part of the parent and well-learned on the part of the child—skills, strategies, nuances of the game.

We have been made ‘spiritual athletes,’ created, skilled and instructed to serve the Lord.We might quickly call this athletic gift from parent to child an inheritance, but for one thing: no one has died. Normally, our thinking when it comes to heirs and the gifts they receive requires that procession: the older must pass away.

But both the dictionary definition and the biblical use of the word allows for a broader understanding. Inheritances are things received by death and bequeathing, yes; but alternate definitions include the passing of traits from ancestors to descendants or legacies generally passed on, as from one CEO’s administration to another.

Inheritances, then, can be given by both the dead and the living.

How true this is when we consider the work of Jesus Christ and the inheritance Scripture says is ours through him. For we have been given riches of the kingdom because Christ died but also because he lives!

Hebrews 9 allows us a sweeping understanding of the purpose of Christ’s death, set in the context of the ancient sacrificial rites of God’s people, the Israelites. The high priests of old were called upon to make an annual sprinkling of blood on the holy objects of the tabernacle, because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” But when Christ went to the cross—as “the mediator of the new covenant”—his shed blood was the “once for all” sacrifice of love that allowed us to gain eternal life through his death. He bore not his sin (just as the goats and bulls, as amoral creatures, had never done) but ours. Because of his death, those who believe on his name will be able one day to stand at the throne of judgment and say, “No, I am not sinless, but I am without sin because Jesus removed sin and its wages from me.”

But we know as well that Jesus lives. He continues to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25); his mediation persists. This makes our salvation complete, just as his Spirit, living in us, ignites our sanctification (what we might call our increasing righteousness). We have been made “spiritual athletes,” created, skilled and instructed to serve the Lord in his power, for the good of others and the glory of his name. Do you see now why our inheritance is amazing?

Jeff Hopper
October 17, 2016
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