15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The death of Christ was the inaugurating act of the new covenant. His entrance into the presence of God was the consummation of His once-for-all sacrifice to complete our redemption (He 9:24, 27, 28).
The new covenant provides both redemption and an inheritance for the believer.
15 And for this reason
“For this reason” expresses a conclusion. There is a link between Christ’s ministry and the new covenant. The new covenant completes and fills out the old covenant. Christ’s death is core to its purpose. There is a definite link between the ministry of Christ and His covenant.
He is the Mediator of the new covenant,
Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant. This new covenant is that of Jeremiah 31. He can make mediation because He offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice. A mediator is someone who intervenes between two parties. Here our Lord mediates between God and man (1 Ti 2:5). He is our go-between. He pleads His death on the cross on our behalf. He removed any obstacle between us and God.
The person of Christ gives efficacy to His work ; it gives validity to the new covenant. His work finds its efficacy in His person.
by means of death,
The new covenant was inaugurated by the death of Christ. A covenant in the Old Testament was normally ratified by animal sacrifice. A dead animal was symbolic of the person who offered the sacrifice not changing its mind; he could never take an action contrary to the agreement.
for the redemption of the transgressions
Christ redeemed all men of all time who would accept His call (Jn 8:36; Ga 3:13). The power of Christ’s redemption brought about the new covenant. The new covenant makes the old effective. It has an effect retrospectively. Everyone who came to faith in the Old Testament was saved by the blood of Christ.
The work of Christ on the cross was retrospective, covering the sins of Old Testament saints as well as sinners of every generation. Levitical sacrifices were prospective, looking forward to the one who would permanently cleanse sinners from their sin.
under the first covenant,
The “first covenant” of Moses is set in contrast to the new covenant. Christ as Mediator of the new covenant suggests a present aspect of His covenant. “New” and “better” stresses the superior priestly and sacrificial aspects of Christ’s death on the cross (He 10:29; 12:24; 13:20). Christ is the reality that the type represents.
Jesus not only inaugurated a new covenant, but He consummated the Mosaic Covenant. The old covenant was based on the death of animals. The Father accepted the death of Christ as substitution for our sin. Although different, the covenant of Moses and that of Christ relate to each other—the old typified the new. Old Testament saints find mercy in Christ’s eternal redemption.
that those who are called
The spiritual benefits of the new covenant are for “those who are called.” Those called are believers in Christ.
may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The Christian operates under the promise of eternal inheritance. The “inheritance” is the content of the promise.
There is a retrospective aspect to the work of Christ on the cross—His sacrifice did what the old sacrifices could not do, which was to fully and finally pay for sins of all time. Old Testament saints benefited from our Lord’s sacrifice.
Christ’s death quiets the heart before God eternally.
Since Christ frees us from the consequence of sin, the believer can relax before God. If people put their faith in what Christ did on the cross, then they can rest their consciences forever.
The death of Christ was both retrospective and prospective; it looked backward as well as forward. Christ paid for the sins of Old Testament saints as well as New Testament saints (Ro 3:25,26). God was satisfied (propitiated) by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.