“For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.”
We know that under the old covenant, death was necessary for the system of forgiveness to be effective. Our author goes further, a will or covenant is only effective if the one making it dies. This was true of the old as well as the new. Under the old covenant, the animals who were sacrificed were representative of the covenant maker. The writer is, of course, tying the new covenant to the death of Jesus on the cross.
This reference to a will rather than a covenant is an analogy. Our writer is not a stickler for details at every point, and his point is that the new covenant required a death just as the old covenant did and the death required for the new was the death of Jesus. The reference to a will is used because covenants could be made and enforced without a death. Wills, on the other hand, could not. We understand that in this case, the will of God and the covenant of God are the same thing and therefore, a death is required.
The measure of this will/covenant is pronounced by the value of the one dying to bring it about. Not bulls and goats but the Son of God, Himself. As in all things in Hebrews, it is obvious that the new covenant is better.
Task for Today: You live under a superior covenant, put into the world by the death of Jesus. How are you treating that covenant today? Is it worth your time to read it? Are you implementing its truths into your daily life? You can’t know what the covenant contains if you don’t inquire as to its contents. Study the last will and testament of Jesus today and every day.