Hebrews 7; Hebrews 8; Hebrews 9; Hebrews 10

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Hebrews 7

1 Melchizedek was the king of Salem. He was the priest of God Most High. He met Abraham, who was returning from winning a battle over some kings. Melchizedek blessed him.
2 Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means "king of what is right." Also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace."
3 Melchizedek has no father or mother. He has no family line. His days have no beginning. His life has no end. He remains a priest forever, just like the Son of God.
4 Think how great Melchizedek was. Even our father Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had captured.
5 Now the law lays down a rule for the sons of Levi who become priests. They must collect a tenth from the people. They must collect it even from those who belong to the family line of Abraham.
6 Melchizedek did not trace his family line from Levi. But he collected a tenth from Abraham. Melchizedek blessed the one who had received the promises.
7 Without a doubt, the more important person blesses the less important one.
8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die. But in the other case, it is collected by the one who is said to be living.
9 Levi collects the tenth. But we might say that Levi paid the tenth through Abraham.
10 That's because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in Abraham's body.
11 Suppose the Levites who were priests could have made people perfect. The law was given to the people so they could become perfect through the priests. Then why was there still a need for another priest to come? And why did he need to be like Melchizedek? Why wasn't he from Aaron's family line?
12 A change of priests requires a change of law.
13 Those things are said about one who is from a different tribe. No one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.
14 It is clear that our Lord came from the family line of Judah. Moses said nothing about priests who were from that tribe.
15 But suppose another priest like Melchizedek appears. Then what we have said is even more clear.
16 He has not become a priest because of a rule about his family line. He has become a priest because of his powerful life. His life can never be destroyed.
17 Scripture says, "You are a priest forever, just like Melchizedek." (Psalm 110:4)
18 The old rule is done away with. It was weak and useless.
19 The law didn't make anything perfect. Now a better hope has been given to us. That hope brings us near to God.
20 The change of priests was made with an oath. Others became priests without any oath.
21 But Jesus became a priest with an oath. God said to him, "The Lord has taken an oath and made a promise. He will not change his mind. He has said, 'You are a priest forever.' " (Psalm 110:4)
22 Because of that oath, Jesus makes the promise of a better covenant certain.
23 There were many priests in Levi's family line. Death kept them from continuing in office.
24 But Jesus lives forever. So he always holds the office of priest.
25 People now come to God through him. And he is able to save them completely and for all time. Jesus lives forever. He prays for them.
26 A high priest like that meets our need. He is holy, pure and without blame. He isn't like other people. He does not sin. He is lifted high above the heavens.
27 He isn't like the other high priests. They need to offer sacrifices day after day. First they bring offerings for their own sins. Then they do it for the sins of the people. But Jesus gave one sacrifice for the sins of the people. He gave it once and for all time. He did it by offering himself.
28 The law appoints men who are weak to be high priests. But God's oath came after the law. The oath appointed the Son. He has been made perfect forever.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 8

1 Here is the point of what we are saying. We have a high priest like that. He sat down at the right hand of the throne of the King, the Majesty in heaven.
2 He serves in the sacred tent. The Lord set up the true holy tent. A mere man did not set it up.
3 Every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. So that priest also had to have something to offer.
4 What if he were on earth? Then he would not be a priest. There are already priests who offer the gifts required by the law.
5 They serve at a sacred tent. But it is only a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. That's why God warned Moses when he was about to build the holy tent. God said, "Be sure to make everything just like the pattern I showed you on the mountain."(Exodus 25:40)
6 Jesus has been given a greater work to do for God. He is the go-between for the new covenant. That covenant is better than the old one. It is based on better promises.
7 Suppose nothing had been wrong with that first covenant. Then no one would have looked for another covenant.
8 But God found fault with the people. He said, "A new day is coming, says the Lord. I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel. I will also make it with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their people of long ago. That was when I took them by the hand. I led them out of Egypt. My new covenant will be different because they didn't remain faithful to my old covenant. So I turned away from them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will make with Israel after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds. I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God. And they will be my people.
11 A man will not teach his neighbor anymore. And he will not teach his friend anymore. He will not say, 'Know the Lord.' Everyone will know me. From the least important of them to the most important, all of them will know me.
12 I will forgive their evil ways. I will not remember their sins anymore." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
13 God called that covenant "new." So he has made the first one out of date. And what is out of date and getting older will soon disappear.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 9

1 The first covenant had rules for worship. It also had a sacred tent on earth.
2 A holy tent was set up. The lampstand was in the first room. So were the table and the holy bread. That was called the Holy Room.
3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Room.
4 It had the golden altar for incense. It also had the wooden chest called the ark of the covenant. The ark was covered with gold. It held the gold jar of manna. It held Aaron's wooden staff that had budded. It also held the stone tablets. The words of the covenant were written on them.
5 The cherubim were above the ark. God showed his glory there. The cherubim spread their wings over the place where sin was paid for. But we can't deal with those things more completely now.
6 That's how everything was arranged in the holy tent. The priests entered it at regular times. They went into the outer room to do their work for God and others.
7 But only the high priest went into the inner room. He went in only once a year. He never entered without taking blood with him. He offered the blood for himself. He also offered it for the sins the people had committed because they didn't know any better.
8 Here is what the Holy Spirit was showing us. He was telling us that God had not yet clearly shown the way into the Most Holy Room. It would not be clearly shown as long as the first holy tent was still standing.
9 That's an example for the present time. It shows us that the gifts and sacrifices they offered were not enough. They were not able to remove the worshiper's feelings of guilt.
10 They deal only with food and drink and different kinds of special washings. They are rules that deal with things outside our bodies. People had to obey them only until the new covenant came.
11 Christ came to be the high priest of the good things that are already here. When he came, he went through the greater and more perfect holy tent. The tent was not made by people. In other words, it is not a part of this creation.
12 He did not enter by spilling the blood of goats and calves. He entered the Most Holy Room by spilling his own blood. He did it once and for all time. He paid the price to set us free from sin forever.
13 The blood of goats and bulls is sprinkled on people. So are the ashes of a young cow. They are sprinkled on people the Law called unclean. The people are sprinkled to make them holy. That makes them clean on the outside.
14 But Christ offered himself to God without any flaw. He did this through the power of the eternal Holy Spirit. So how much more will his blood wash from our minds our feelings of guilt for committing sin! Sin always leads to death. But now we can serve the living God.
15 That's why Christ is the go-between of a new covenant. Now those God calls to himself will receive the eternal gift he promised. They will receive it now that Christ has died to save them. He died to set them free from the sins they committed under the first covenant.
16 What happens in the case of a will? It is necessary to prove that the person who made the will has died.
17 A will is in effect only when somebody has died. It never takes effect while the one who made it is still living.
18 That's why even the first covenant was not put into effect without the spilling of blood.
19 Moses first announced every commandment of the law to all the people. Then he took the blood of calves. He also took water, bright red wool and branches of a hyssop plant. He sprinkled the scroll. He also sprinkled all of the people.
20 He said, "This is the blood of the covenant God has commanded you to keep."(Exodus 24:8)
21 In the same way, he sprinkled the holy tent with blood. He also sprinkled everything that was used in worship there.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be made clean with blood. Without the spilling of blood, no one can be forgiven.
23 So the copies of the heavenly things had to be made pure with those sacrifices. But the heavenly things themselves had to be made pure with better sacrifices.
24 Christ did not enter a sacred tent made by people. That tent was only a copy of the true one. He entered heaven itself. He did it to stand in front of God for us. He is there right now.
25 The high priest enters the Most Holy Room every year. He enters with blood that is not his own. But Christ did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again.
26 If he had, he would have had to suffer many times since the world was created. But now he has appeared once and for all time. He has come at the end of the ages to do away with sin. He has done that by offering himself.
27 People have to die once. After that, God will judge them.
28 In the same way, Christ was offered up once. He took away the sins of many people. He will also come a second time. At that time he will not suffer for sin. Instead, he will come to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 10

1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming. It is not the real things themselves. The same sacrifices have to be offered over and over again. They must be offered year after year. That's why the law can never make perfect those who come near to worship.
2 If it could, wouldn't the sacrifices have stopped being offered? The worshipers would have been made clean once and for all time. They would not have felt guilty for their sins anymore.
3 But those offerings remind people of their sins every year.
4 It isn't possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 So when Christ came into the world, he said, "You didn't want sacrifices and offerings. Instead, you prepared a body for me.
6 You weren't pleased with burnt offerings and sin offerings.
7 Then I said, 'Here I am. It is written about me in the scroll. God, I have come to do what you want.' " (Psalm 40:6-8)
8 First Christ said, "You didn't want sacrifices and offerings. You didn't want burnt offerings and sin offerings. You weren't pleased with them." He said that even though the law required people to bring them.
9 Then he said, "Here I am. I have come to do what you want." He did away with the first. He did it to put the second in place.
10 We have been made holy by what God wanted. We have been made holy because Jesus Christ offered his body once and for all time.
11 Day after day every priest stands and does his special duties. He offers the same sacrifices again and again. But they can never take away sins.
12 Jesus our priest offered one sacrifice for sins for all time. Then he sat down at the right hand of God.
13 Since that time, he waits for his enemies to be put under his control.
14 By that one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also gives witness to us about this. First he says,
16 "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts. I will write my laws on their minds." (Jeremiah 31:33)
17 Then he adds, "I will not remember their sins anymore. I will not remember the evil things they have done." (Jeremiah 31:34)
18 Where those have been forgiven, there is no longer any offering for sin.
19 Brothers and sisters, we are not afraid to enter the Most Holy Room. We enter boldly because of the blood of Jesus.
20 His way is new because he lives. It has been opened for us through the curtain. I'm talking about his body.
21 We also have a great priest over the house of God.
22 So let us come near to God with an honest and true heart. Let us come near with a faith that is sure and strong. Our hearts have been sprinkled. Our minds have been cleansed from a sense of guilt. Our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The One who promised is faithful.
24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works.
25 Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return.
26 What if we keep sinning on purpose? What if we do it even after we know the truth? Then there is no offering for our sins.
27 All we can do is to wait in fear for God to judge. His blazing fire will burn up his enemies.
28 Anyone who did not obey the law of Moses died without mercy if there were two or three witnesses.
29 What should be done to anyone who has hated the Son of God or has said no to him? What should be done to a person who treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that makes him holy? What should be done to someone who has made fun of the Holy Spirit who brings God's grace? Don't you think people like that should be punished more than anyone else?
30 We know the One who said, "I am the One who judges people. I will pay them back."(Deuteronomy 32:35) Scripture also says, "The Lord will judge his people."(Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 135:14)
31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Remember those earlier days after you received the light. At that time you stood firm in a great struggle. You did it even in the face of suffering.
33 Sometimes you were made fun of in front of others. You were treated badly. At other times you stood side by side with people who were being treated like that.
34 You suffered together with people in prison. When your property was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew that God had given you better and more lasting things.
35 So don't throw away your bold faith. It will bring you rich rewards.
36 You need to be faithful. Then you will do what God wants. You will receive what he has promised.
37 In just a very little while, "The one who is coming will come. He will not wait.
38 The one who is in the right will live by faith. If he pulls back, I will not be pleased with him." (Habakkuk 2:3,4)
39 But we aren't people who pull back and are destroyed. We are people who believe and are saved.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.