but are limited to matters of ritual and behavior. It's essentially a temporary arrangement until a complete overhaul could be made.
But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven's "tent" - the true Holy Place - once and for all.
He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all.
If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior,
think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out.
Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.
Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus' death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way.
Even the first plan required a death to set it in motion.
After Moses had read out all the terms of the plan of the law - God's "will" - he took the blood of sacrificed animals and, in a solemn ritual, sprinkled the document and the people who were its beneficiaries.
And then he attested its validity with the words, "This is the blood of the covenant commanded by God."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)