Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,14
which had the golden altar of incense2 and the gold-covered ark of the covenant.3 This ark contained the gold jar of manna,4 Aaron's staff that had budded,5 and the stone tablets of the covenant.65
Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory,7 overshadowing the atonement cover.a8 But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly9 into the outer room to carry on their ministry.
But only the high priest entered10 the inner room,11 and that only once a year,12 and never without blood,13 which he offered for himself14 and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.158
The Holy Spirit was showing16 by this that the way17 into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.
This is an illustration18 for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered19 were not able to clear the conscience20 of the worshiper.
They are only a matter of food21 and drink22 and various ceremonial washings23--external regulations24 applying until the time of the new order.
When Christ came as high priest25 of the good things that are already here,b26 he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle27 that is not man-made,28 that is to say, not a part of this creation.
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves;29 but he entered the Most Holy Place30 once for all31 by his own blood,32 having obtained eternal redemption.
The blood of goats and bulls33 and the ashes of a heifer34 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 Spirit35 offered himself36 unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences37 from acts that lead to death,c38 so that we may serve the living God!39