1 Melchizedekn was the king of Salem and a priest for God Most High. He met Abraham when Abraham was coming back after defeating the kings. When they met, Melchizedek blessed Abraham, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything he had brought back from the battle. First, Melchizedek's name means "king of goodness," and he is king of Salem, which means "king of peace." 3 No one knows who Melchizedek's father or mother was, where he came from, when he was born, or when he died. Melchizedek is like the Son of God; he continues being a priest forever. 4 You can see how great Melchizedek was. Abraham, the great father, gave him a tenth of everything that he won in battle. 5 Now the law says that those in the tribe of Levi who become priests must collect a tenth from the people -- their own people -- even though the priests and the people are from the family of Abraham. 6 Melchizedek was not from the tribe of Levi, but he collected a tenth from Abraham. And he blessed Abraham, the man who had God's promises. 7 Now everyone knows that the more important person blesses the less important person. 8 Priests receive a tenth, even though they are only men who live and then die. But Melchizedek, who received a tenth from Abraham, continues living, as the Scripture says. 9 We might even say that Levi, who receives a tenth, also paid it when Abraham paid Melchizedek a tenth. 10 Levi was not yet born, but he was in the body of his ancestor when Melchizedek met Abraham. 11 The people were given the lawn based on a system of priests from the tribe of Levi, but they could not be made perfect through that system. So there was a need for another priest to come, a priest like Melchizedek, not Aaron. 12 And when a different kind of priest comes, the law must be changed, too. 13 We are saying these things about Christ, who belonged to a different tribe. No one from that tribe ever served as a priest at the altar. 14 It is clear that our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses said nothing about priests belonging to that tribe. 15 And this becomes even more clear when we see that another priest comes who is like Melchizedek. 16 He was not made a priest by human rules and laws but through the power of his life, which continues forever. 17 It is said about him, "You are a priest forever, a priest like Melchizedek." 18 The old rule is now set aside, because it was weak and useless. 19 The law of Moses could not make anything perfect. But now a better hope has been given to us, and with this hope we can come near to God. 20 It is important that God did this with an oath. Others became priests without an oath, 21 but Christ became a priest with God's oath. God said: "The Lord has made a promise and will not change his mind. 'You are a priest forever.'" 22 This means that Jesus is the guarantee of a better agreementn from God to his people. 23 When one of the other priests died, he could not continue being a priest. So there were many priests. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, he will never stop serving as priest. 25 So he is able always to save those who come to God through him because he always lives, asking God to help them. 26 Jesus is the kind of high priest we need. He is holy, sinless, pure, not influenced by sinners, and he is raised above the heavens. 27 He is not like the other priests who had to offer sacrifices every day, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people. Christ offered his sacrifice only once and for all time when he offered himself. 28 The law chooses high priests who are people with weaknesses, but the word of God's oath came later than the law. It made God's Son to be the high priest, and that Son has been made perfect forever.
1 Here is the point of what we are saying: We have a high priest who sits on the right side of God's throne in heaven. 2 Our high priest serves in the Most Holy Place, the true place of worship that was made by God, not by humans. 3 Every high priest has the work of offering gifts and sacrifices to God. So our high priest must also offer something to God. 4 If our high priest were now living on earth, he would not be a priest, because there are already priests here who follow the law by offering gifts to God. 5 The work they do as priests is only a copy and a shadow of what is in heaven. This is why God warned Moses when he was ready to build the Holy Tent: "Be very careful to make everything by the plan I showed you on the mountain." 6 But the priestly work that has been given to Jesus is much greater than the work that was given to the other priests. In the same way, the new agreement that Jesus brought from God to his people is much greater than the old one. And the new agreement is based on promises of better things. 7 If there had been nothing wrong with the first agreement, there would have been no need for a second agreement. 8 But God found something wrong with his people. He says: "Look, the time is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. 9 It will not be like the agreement I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt. But they broke that agreement, and I turned away from them, says the Lord. 10 This is the agreement I will make with the people of Israel at that time, says the Lord. I will put my teachings in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 People will no longer have to teach their neighbors and relatives to know the Lord, because all people will know me, from the least to the most important. 12 I will forgive them for the wicked things they did, and I will not remember their sins anymore." 13 God called this a new agreement, so he has made the first agreement old. And anything that is old and worn out is ready to disappear.
1 The first agreementn had rules for worship and a man-made place for worship. 2 The Holy Tent was set up for this. The first area in the Tent was called the Holy Place. In it were the lamp and the table with the bread that was made holy for God. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place. 4 In it was a golden altar for burning incense and the Ark covered with gold that held the old agreement. Inside this Ark was a golden jar of manna, Aaron's rod that once grew leaves, and the stone tablets of the old agreement. 5 Above the Ark were the creatures that showed God's glory, whose wings reached over the lid. But we cannot tell everything about these things now. 6 When everything in the Tent was made ready in this way, the priests went into the first room every day to worship. 7 But only the high priest could go into the second room, and he did that only once a year. He could never enter the inner room without taking blood with him, which he offered to God for himself and for sins the people did without knowing they did them. 8 The Holy Spirit uses this to show that the way into the Most Holy Place was not open while the system of the old Holy Tent was still being used. 9 This is an example for the present time. It shows that the gifts and sacrifices offered cannot make the conscience of the worshiper perfect. 10 These gifts and sacrifices were only about food and drink and special washings. They were rules for the body, to be followed until the time of God's new way. 11 But when Christ came as the high priest of the good things we now have, he entered the greater and more perfect tent. It is not made by humans and does not belong to this world. 12 Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once -- and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow are sprinkled on the people who are unclean, and this makes their bodies clean again. 14 How much more is done by the blood of Christ. He offered himself through the eternal Spiritn as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make our consciences pure from useless acts so we may serve the living God. 15 For this reason Christ brings a new agreement from God to his people. Those who are called by God can now receive the blessings he has promised, blessings that will last forever. They can have those things because Christ died so that the people who lived under the first agreement could be set free from sin. 16 When there is a will, it must be proven that the one who wrote that will is dead. 17 A will means nothing while the person is alive; it can be used only after the person dies. 18 This is why even the first agreement could not begin without blood to show death. 19 First, Moses told all the people every command in the law. Next he took the blood of calves and mixed it with water. Then he used red wool and a branch of the hyssop plant to sprinkle it on the book of the law and on all the people. 20 He said, "This is the blood that begins the Agreement that God commanded you to obey." 21 In the same way, Moses sprinkled the blood on the Holy Tent and over all the things used in worship. 22 The law says that almost everything must be made clean by blood, and sins cannot be forgiven without blood to show death. 23 So the copies of the real things in heaven had to be made clean by animal sacrifices. But the real things in heaven need much better sacrifices. 24 Christ did not go into the Most Holy Place made by humans, which is only a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself and is there now before God to help us. 25 The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once every year with blood that is not his own. But Christ did not offer himself many times. 26 Then he would have had to suffer many times since the world was made. But Christ came only once and for all time at just the right time to take away all sin by sacrificing himself. 27 Just as everyone must die once and be judged, 28 so Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to take away the sins of many people. And he will come a second time, not to offer himself for sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
1 The law is only an unclear picture of the good things coming in the future; it is not the real thing. The people under the law offer the same sacrifices every year, but these sacrifices can never make perfect those who come near to worship God. 2 If the law could make them perfect, the sacrifices would have already stopped. The worshipers would be made clean, and they would no longer have a sense of sin. 3 But these sacrifices remind them of their sins every year, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 So when Christ came into the world, he said: "You do not want sacrifices and offerings, but you have prepared a body for me. 6 You do not ask for burnt offerings and offerings to take away sins. 7 Then I said, 'Look, I have come. It is written about me in the book. God, I have come to do what you want.'" 8 In this Scripture he first said, "You do not want sacrifices and offerings. You do not ask for burnt offerings and offerings to take away sins." (These are all sacrifices that the law commands.) 9 Then he said, "Look, I have come to do what you want." God ends the first system of sacrifices so he can set up the new system. 10 And because of this, we are made holy through the sacrifice Christ made in his body once and for all time. 11 Every day the priests stand and do their religious service, often offering the same sacrifices. Those sacrifices can never take away sins. 12 But after Christ offered one sacrifice for sins, forever, he sat down at the right side of God. 13 And now Christ waits there for his enemies to be put under his power. 14 With one sacrifice he made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15 The Holy Spirit also tells us about this. First he says: 16 "This is the agreementn I will make with them at that time, says the Lord. I will put my teachings in their hearts and write them on their minds." 17 Then he says: "Their sins and the evil things they do -- I will not remember anymore." 18 Now when these have been forgiven, there is no more need for a sacrifice for sins. 19 So, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus' death. 20 We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain -- Christ's body. 21 And since we have a great priest over God's house, 22 let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed, because we can trust God to do what he promised. 24 Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. 25 You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the dayn coming. 26 If we decide to go on sinning after we have learned the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. 27 There is nothing but fear in waiting for the judgment and the terrible fire that will destroy all those who live against God. 28 Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was found guilty from the proof given by two or three witnesses. He was put to death without mercy. 29 So what do you think should be done to those who do not respect the Son of God, who look at the blood of the agreement that made them holy as no different from others' blood, who insult the Spirit of God's grace? Surely they should have a much worse punishment. 30 We know that God said, "I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them." And he also said, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 Remember those days in the past when you first learned the truth. You had a hard struggle with many sufferings, but you continued strong. 33 Sometimes you were hurt and attacked before crowds of people, and sometimes you shared with those who were being treated that way. 34 You helped the prisoners. You even had joy when all that you owned was taken from you, because you knew you had something better and more lasting. 35 So do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has a great reward. 36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time, "The One who is coming will come and will not be delayed. 38 The person who is right with me will live by trusting in me. But if he turns back with fear, I will not be pleased with him." 39 But we are not those who turn back and are lost. We are people who have faith and are saved.