Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Insurance claims only benefit those who are covered prior to the date of incident or need. If you have a wreck, you alone are responsible to pay for damages unless you took out an insurance policy at a previous date. Wouldn’t it be great, though, if insurance could work retroactively? For example, let’s say you only took out liability insurance and then a massive hailstorm hit and gave your brand new car 100 dents and a cracked window. What a gift it would be if you called up your insurance company and they told you that if you added comprehensive insurance today it would go into effect at a previous date, covering the hail damage that had already taken place!

The spiritual healing Jesus brought to those under the old covenant can be thought of similarly. We wonder, “If Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross had to take place for the salvation of humankind, then how were Old Testament people saved?” Hebrews 9:15 assures us they were saved the same way we are saved—by the shed blood of Christ. The old covenant system of animal sacrifices as payment for sins had no salvific power in itself, rather it pointed to a greater reality and sacrifice to come. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty and brought redemption for all future sins of those who put their trust in Him, and it also paid the penalty and brought redemption for all past sins of those who looked forward and put their trust in the coming Messiah. Praise God! His love for all people provides forgiveness of sins through the death of Jesus on the cross both proactively and retroactively.

• What does this tell you about any future sins committed by a person who is in Christ?

• Which view does this verse support—that sin is or isn’t a big deal? Why?

• Thank God for thinking of everything and everyone past, present, and future when He sent His Son Jesus to earth. Ask Him to help you not take sin lightly but to understand the great cost your sin was to Jesus and to live in obedient gratitude to Him as a result.