The Old and the New
1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was equipped, the outer sanctuary, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the sacred bread; this is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Most Holy Place, 4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, Aaron’s staff which budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the atoning cover; but about these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship, 7 but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, 9 which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, 10 since they relate only to food, drink, and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things having come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by hands, that is, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all time, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the violations that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a covenant, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when people are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22 And almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these things, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made by hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
Questions for Reflection:
1. With God being available to us daily, how do you plan to seek His face today?
2. List out some ways that Christ’s sacrifice has blessed and changed your life.