INHERITANCE: ACCORDING TO WHAT LAW?
How many murder mysteries are written around the familiar storyline of the last will and testament of a wealthy aristocrat? Was the death of natural causes; or poison or a planned fatal accident? Some greedy relative or favored servant could not wait any longer for the aging benefactor to die naturally. Some rich people are just too healthy for their own good. So the ancient one is killed off and laid to rest. Then the anxious heir waits for the reading of the will.
Why all the drama? Greed and avarice create their own drama. But the law of wills and testaments is the necessary ingredient to build the plot upon. For the testament is not in force as long as the testator lives. The will specifies who the heirs are and how much they get. All manner of intrigue can spice up the story and increase the drama.
But no one receives anything while the testator lives according to the law.
Hebrews 9:16, 17
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.
Now according to the New Testament all who profess faith in Christ, from their hearts, are heirs together. When Jesus died no one was thinking about inheritance. But there was a plot to kill the Son of God which succeeded. His disciples who would benefit were not in on the scheme. The plot was to get Him out of the way to prevent an uprising against the High Priest and the established rule of the Sanhedrin. Judas had the role of betrayer, but he hoped for Christ to arise in authority and take His place as King. No one was plotting to get rich.
In the end the scheme of the priestly council did not succeed because it was so crafty or wicked. The scheme worked because Jesus yielded Himself to be taken and crucified. He yielded up His Spirit while on the cross for Hs own purpose; to redeem all who would trust His act of redemption. In doing so the author of the New Testament has died. His will and testament have been written and are legally in force now. The wealth and power of Christ are so astounding that every person who has ever and will ever live has no need to ever worry about anything (Matthew 6:31), if they will just receive Him as Lord. Health, security, provision and influence with the King of kings are available to the heirs now.
The greatest detail of all is that though the beloved testator has died to release the promises of His will to us, He has risen from the dead. He is alive! We are not deprived of Him at all. In fact, now He lives in our hearts and has promised to never leave us or forsake us. None of the other benefits would be of any value nor mean much to a lover of Christ without Him. He is the crowning jewel of our joy, forever.
This reminds me of the story of the prodigal son. Both sons received their inheritance while the father yet lived. And though the younger wasted his portion, he returned home to discover the resources of his father remained abundant. Jesus, our High Priest, has sacrificed His life to give us eternal life and entrance in the kingdom of God. Yet He lives. We are heirs together of a testament that is in force now. All the benefits are ours now, and the big plus is – we get to walk with Jesus too, forever.
Why would we not want to tell the whole world?
How is this possible?
A testament is not legal unless it is mediated by law. If it be contested, what law will uphold it in the courtroom of the kingdom where it is presented?
Is it the Old Covenant law mediated by Moses and the Levitical Priesthood? None of us has ever succeeded in meeting the requirements of that law. There can be no heirs, so I am glad God has declared that law to be annulled because of its weakness and unprofitableness (Hebrews 7:18). It did not produce the results God desired.
The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Jesus has become our new and eternal High Priest. Yet He is not from the tribe of Levi, from which High Priests arose. What does that mean? The writer of Hebrews explains the details to us.
11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” 18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
God has set aside the Levitical priesthood to establish the priesthood He has always wanted; a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6, Revelations 1:6). Every believer is a priest according to God’s design. The first necessary step to establish a kingdom of royal priests (1 Peter 2:9) is to change the law. Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law to the letter so He could redeem us from it and set it aside. Now the Father has anointed Him High Priest forever, according to His promise (Psalm 10:4).
This priesthood is not written in the Law of Moses because the people said, “No!” when God desired a nation of priests (Exodus 20:19). So God chose the one faithful tribe, Levi, and made them priests for the nation. Therefore the Law of Moses contains the Levitical Priesthood alone; until the resurrection of Christ.
Now Jesus is our High Priest; not according to Moses’ law, but according to a higher law. Hebrews 7:16 calls it the Power of An Endless Life. It is the eternal resurrection life of Christ or as Paul called it, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2).
By this law every believer is a Royal Priest unto God and Christ is our High Priest forever. This is the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek; of an endless life.
This is the law, not written on stone, but on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10) by which God declares every believer an heir and a joint heir with Christ to all that is His.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.