But only the high priest entered1 the inner room,2 and that only once a year,3 and never without blood,4 which he offered for himself5 and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.68
The Holy Spirit was showing7 by this that the way8 into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.
This is an illustration9 for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered10 were not able to clear the conscience11 of the worshiper.
They are only a matter of food12 and drink13 and various ceremonial washings14--external regulations15 applying until the time of the new order.
When Christ came as high priest16 of the good things that are already here,a17 he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle18 that is not man-made,19 that is to say, not a part of this creation.
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves;20 but he entered the Most Holy Place21 once for all22 by his own blood,23 having obtained eternal redemption.
The blood of goats and bulls24 and the ashes of a heifer25 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 Spirit26 offered himself27 unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences28 from acts that lead to death,b29 so that we may serve the living God!3015
For this reason Christ is the mediator31 of a new covenant,32 that those who are called33 may receive the promised34 eternal inheritance35--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.3616
In the case of a will,c it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it,
because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.
This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.3719
When Moses had proclaimed38 every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves,39 together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.4020
He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep."d4121
In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood,42 and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.4323
It was necessary, then, for the copies44 of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one;45 he entered heaven itself,46 now to appear for us in God's presence.4725
Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place48 every year with blood that is not his own.49