1. The first covenant also had its laws governing worship and its sanctuary, a sanctuary on this earth.
2. There was a tent which comprised two compartments: the first, in which the lamp-stand, the table and the loaves of permanent offering were kept, was called the Holy Place;
3. then beyond the second veil, a second compartment which was called the Holy of Holies
4. to which belonged the gold altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant, plated all over with gold. In this were kept the gold jar containing the manna, Aaron's branch that grew the buds, and the tables of the covenant.
5. On top of it were the glorious winged creatures, overshadowing the throne of mercy. This is not the time to go into detail about this.
6. Under these provisions, priests go regularly into the outer tent to carry out their acts of worship,
7. but the second tent is entered only once a year, and then only by the high priest who takes in the blood to make an offering for his own and the people's faults of inadvertence.
8. By this, the Holy Spirit means us to see that as long as the old tent stands, the way into the holy place is not opened up;
9. it is a symbol for this present time. None of the gifts and sacrifices offered under these regulations can possibly bring any worshipper to perfection in his conscience;
10. they are rules about outward life, connected with food and drink and washing at various times, which are in force only until the time comes to set things right.
11. But now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, not made by human hands, that is, not of this created order;
12. and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption.
13. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement, may restore their bodily purity.
14. How much more will the blood of Christ, who offered himself, blameless as he was, to God through the eternal Spirit, purify our conscience from dead actions so that we can worship the living God.
15. This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise.
16. Now wherever a will is in question, the death of the testator must be established;
17. a testament comes into effect only after a death, since it has no force while the testator is still alive.
18. That is why even the earlier covenant was inaugurated with blood,
19. and why, after Moses had promulgated all the commandments of the Law to the people, he took the calves' blood, the goats' blood and some water, and with these he sprinkled the book itself and all the people, using scarlet wool and hyssop;
20. saying as he did so: This is the blood of the covenant that God has made with you.
21. And he sprinkled both the tent and all the liturgical vessels with blood in the same way.
22. In fact, according to the Law, practically every purification takes place by means of blood; and if there is no shedding of blood, there is no remission.
23. Only the copies of heavenly things are purified in this way; the heavenly things themselves have to be purified by a higher sort of sacrifice than this.
24. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was merely a model of the real one; he entered heaven itself, so that he now appears in the presence of God on our behalf.
25. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own,
26. or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. As it is, he has made his appearance once and for all, at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself.
27. Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgement,
28. so Christ too, having offered himself only once to bear the sin of many, will manifest himself a second time, sin being no more, to those who are waiting for him, to bring them salvation.