The Law is a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the real things themselves. It never can perfect the ones who are trying to draw near to God through the same sacrifices that are offered continually every year.
Otherwise, wouldn't they have stopped being offered? If the people carrying out their religious duties had been completely cleansed once, no one would have been aware of sin anymore.
Instead, these sacrifices are a reminder of sin every year,
because it's impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when he comes into the world he says, You didn't want a sacrifice or an offering, but you prepared a body for me; 6you weren't pleased with entirely burned offerings or a sin offering. 7So then I said, "Look, I've come to do your will, God.This has been written about me in the scroll."a8
He says above, You didn't want and you weren't pleased with a sacrifice or an offering or with entirely burned offerings or a purification offering,b which are offered because the Law requires them.
Then he said, Look, I've come to do your will.c He puts an end to the first to establish the second.
We have been made holy by God's will through the offering of Jesus Christ's body once for all.
Every priest stands every day serving and offering the same sacrifices over and over, sacrifices that can never take away sins.
But when this priest offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right side of God.
Since then, he's waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for his feet,
because he perfected the people who are being made holy with one offering for all time.
The Holy Spirit affirms this when saying,
16This is the covenant that I will make with them. After these days, says the Lord, I will place my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds. 17And I won't remember their sins and their lawless behavior anymore.d18
When there is forgiveness for these things, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Brothers and sisters, we have confidence that we can enter the holy of holies by means of Jesus' blood,
through a new and living way that he opened up for us through the curtain, which is his body,
and we have a great high priest over God's house.
Therefore, let's draw near with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water.
Let's hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.
Let's also think about how to motivate each other to show love and to do good works.
Don't stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.
If we make the decision to sin after we receive the knowledge of the truth, there isn't a sacrifice for sins left any longer.
There's only a scary expectation of judgment and of a burning fire that's going to devour God's opponents.
When someone rejected the Law from Moses, they were put to death without mercy on the basis of the testimony of two or three witnesses.
How much worse punishment do you think is deserved by the person who walks all over God's Son, who acts as if the blood of the covenant that made us holy is just ordinary blood, and who insults the Spirit of grace?
We know the one who said, Judgment is mine; I will pay people back.e And he also said, The Lord will judge his people.f31
It's scary to fall into the hands of the living God!
But remember the earlier days, after you saw the light. You stood your ground while you were suffering from an enormous amount of pressure.
Sometimes you were exposed to insults and abuse in public. Other times you became partners with those who were treated that way.
You even showed sympathy toward people in prison and accepted the confiscation of your possessions with joy, since you knew that you had better and lasting possessions.
So don't throw away your confidence—it brings a great reward.
You need to endure so that you can receive the promises after you do God's will.
37In a little while longer, the one who is coming will come and won't delay; 38but my righteous one will live by faith, and my whole being won't be pleased with anyone who shrinks back.g39
But we aren't the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed. We're the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved.