1The 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 for ever, year after year. How can the Law, then, by means of these sacrifices make perfect the people who come to God? 2If the people worshipping God had really been purified from their sins, they would not feel guilty of sin any more, and all sacrifices would stop. 3As it is, however, the sacrifices serve year after year to remind people of their sins. 4For the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins.
5 # Ps 40.6–8 (LXX) For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, he said to God:
“You do not want sacrifices and offerings,
but you have prepared a body for me.
6You are not pleased with animals burnt whole on the altar
or with sacrifices to take away sins.
7Then I said, ‘Here I am,
to do your will, O God,
just as it is written of me in the book of the Law.’ ”
8First he said, “You neither want nor are you pleased with sacrifices and offerings or with animals burnt on the altar and the sacrifices to take away sins.” He said this even though all these sacrifices are offered according to the Law. 9Then 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. 10Because 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.
11 # Ex 29.38 Every Jewish priest performs his services every day and offers the same sacrifices many times; but these sacrifices can never take away sins. 12#Ps 110.1Christ, however, offered one sacrifice for sins, an offering that is effective for ever, and then he sat down at the right-hand side of God. 13There he now waits until God puts his enemies as a footstool under his feet. 14With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect for ever those who are purified from sin.
15And the Holy Spirit also gives us his witness. First he says:
16 # Jer 31.33 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
in the days to come, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts
and write them on their minds.”
17 # Jer 31.34 And then he says, “I will not remember their sins and evil deeds any longer.” 18So when these have been forgiven, an offering to take away sins is no longer needed.
Let us Come Near to God
19We have, then, my brothers and sisters, complete freedom to go into the Most Holy Place by means of the death of Jesus. 20He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain — that is, through his own body. 21We have a great priest in charge of the house of God. 22#Lev 8.30; Ezek 36.25So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. 23Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. 24Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.
26For there is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us. 27#Is 26.11 (LXX)Instead, all that is left is to wait in fear for the coming Judgement and the fierce fire which will destroy those who oppose God! 28#Deut 17.6; 19.15Anyone who disobeys the Law of Moses is put to death without any mercy when judged guilty on the evidence of two or more witnesses. 29#Ex 24.8What, then, of those who despise the Son of God? who treat as a cheap thing the blood of God's covenant which purified them from sin? who insult the Spirit of grace? Just think how much worse is the punishment they will deserve! 30#Deut 32.35, 36For we know who said, “I will take revenge, I will repay”; and who also said, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
32Remember how it was with you in the past. In those days, after God's light had shone on you, you suffered many things, yet were not defeated by the struggle. 33You were at times publicly insulted and ill-treated, and at other times you were ready to join those who were being treated in this way. 34You shared the sufferings of prisoners, and when all your belongings were seized, you endured your loss gladly, because you knew that you still possessed something much better, which would last for ever. 35Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. 36You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises. 37#Hab 2.3–4 (LXX)For, as the scripture says:
“Just a little while longer,
and he who is coming will come;
he will not delay.
38My righteous people, however, will believe and live;
but if any of them turns back,
I will not be pleased with him.”
39We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead, we have faith and are saved.