Now the first covenant had both regulations for worship and a Holy Place here on earth.
A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence.
Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place,
which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon's rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant;
and above it were the k'ruvim representing the Sh'khinah, casting their shadow on the lid of the Ark - but now is not the time to discuss these things in detail.
With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties;
but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people.
By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed.
This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers.
For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings - regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure.
But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world),
he entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever.
For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity;
then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!