A tabernacle1 was set up. In its first room were the lampstand,2 the table3 and the consecrated bread;4 this was called the Holy Place.53
Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,64
which had the golden altar of incense7 and the gold-covered ark of the covenant.8 This ark contained the gold jar of manna,9 Aaron's staff that had budded,10 and the stone tablets of the covenant.115
Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory,12 overshadowing the atonement cover.a13 But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly14 into the outer room to carry on their ministry.
But only the high priest entered15 the inner room,16 and that only once a year,17 and never without blood,18 which he offered for himself19 and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.208
The Holy Spirit was showing21 by this that the way22 into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.
This is an illustration23 for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered24 were not able to clear the conscience25 of the worshiper.
They are only a matter of food26 and drink27 and various ceremonial washings28--external regulations29 applying until the time of the new order.
When Christ came as high priest30 of the good things that are already here,b31 he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle32 that is not man-made,33 that is to say, not a part of this creation.
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves;34 but he entered the Most Holy Place35 once for all36 by his own blood,37 having obtained eternal redemption.
The blood of goats and bulls38 and the ashes of a heifer39 sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit40 offered himself41 unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences42 from acts that lead to death,c43 so that we may serve the living God!44