The Earthly Sanctuary
1Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and #Ex. 25:8; (Heb. 8:2; 9:11, 24)the earthly sanctuary. 2For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3#Ex. 26:31–35; 40:3and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4which had the #Lev. 16:12golden censer and #Ex. 25:10the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were #Ex. 16:33the golden pot that had the manna, #Num. 17:1–10Aaron’s rod that budded, and #Ex. 25:16; 34:29; Deut. 10:2–5the tablets of the covenant; 5and #Ex. 25:17, 20; Lev. 16:2; 1 Kin. 8:7above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Limitations of the Earthly Service
6Now when these things had been thus prepared, #Num. 18:2–6; 28:3the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7But into the second part the high priest went alone #Ex. 30:10; Lev. 16:34; Heb. 10:3once a year, not without blood, which he offered for #Heb. 5:3himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8the Holy Spirit indicating this, that #(John 14:6; Heb. 10:20)the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered #(Gal. 3:21); Heb. 7:19which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10concerned only with #Lev. 11:2; Col. 2:16foods and drinks, #Num. 19:7various washings, #Eph. 2:15and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
The Heavenly Sanctuary
11But Christ came as High Priest of #(Eph. 1:3–11); Heb. 10:1the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not #Heb. 10:4with the blood of goats and calves, but #Is. 53:12; Eph. 1:7with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place #Zech. 3:9once for all, #(Dan. 9:24)having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if #Lev. 16:14, 15; Heb. 9:19; 10:4the blood of bulls and goats and #Num. 19:2the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, #1 John 1:7cleanse your conscience from #Heb. 6:1dead works #Luke 1:74to serve the living God? 15And for this reason #Rom. 3:25He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that #Heb. 3:1those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The Mediator’s Death Necessary
16For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17For #Gal. 3:15a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18#Ex. 24:6Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, #Ex. 24:5, 6he took the blood of calves and goats, #Lev. 14:4, 7; Num. 19:6, 18with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, #(Matt. 26:28)“This is the #Ex. 24:3–8blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21Then likewise #Ex. 29:12, 36he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and #Lev. 17:11without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
23Therefore it was necessary that #Heb. 8:5the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For #Heb. 6:20Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of #Heb. 8:2the true, but into heaven itself, now #Rom. 8:34to appear in the presence of God for us; 25not that He should offer Himself often, as #Heb. 9:7the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27#Gen. 3:19; Eccl. 3:20And as it is appointed for men to die once, #(2 Cor. 5:10); 1 John 4:17but after this the judgment, 28so #Rom. 6:10Christ was #Is. 53:12; 1 Pet. 2:24offered once to bear the sins #Matt. 26:28of many. To those who #1 Cor. 1:7; Titus 2:13eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.