The Jewish Law is not a full and faithful model of the real things; it is only a faint outline of the good things to come. The same sacrifices are offered forever, year after year. How can the Law, then, by means of these sacrifices make perfect the people who come to God?
If the people worshiping God had really been purified from their sins, they would not feel guilty of sin any more, and all sacrifices would stop.
As it is, however, the sacrifices serve year after year to remind people of their sins.
For the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, he said to God: 1 "You do not want sacrifices and offerings, but you have prepared a body for me.
You are not pleased with animals burned whole on the altar or with sacrifices to take away sins.
Then I said, "Here I am, to do your will, O God, just as it is written of me in the book of the Law.' "
First he said, "You neither want nor are you pleased with sacrifices and offerings or with animals burned on the altar and the sacrifices to take away sins." He said this even though all these sacrifices are offered according to the Law.
Then he said, "Here I am, O God, to do your will." So God does away with all the old sacrifices and puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place.
Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all.
Every Jewish priest performs his services every day and offers the same sacrifices many times; but these sacrifices can never take away sins. 2
Christ, however, offered one sacrifice for sins, an offering that is effective forever, and then he sat down at the right side of God. 3
There he now waits until God puts his enemies as a footstool under his feet.
With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect forever those who are purified from sin.
And the Holy Spirit also gives us his witness. First he says,
"This is the covenant that I will make with them 4 in the days to come, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds."
And then he says, "I will not remember their sins and evil deeds any longer." 5
So when these have been forgiven, an offering to take away sins is no longer needed.