1The law is only an unclear picture of the good things coming in the future; it is not the real thing. The people under the law offer the same sacrifices every year, but these sacrifices can never make perfect those who come near to worship God. 2If the law could make them perfect, the sacrifices would have already stopped. The worshipers would be made clean, and they would no longer have a sense of sin. 3But these sacrifices remind them of their sins every year, 4because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5So when Christ came into the world, he said:
“You do not want sacrifices and offerings,
but you have prepared a body for me.
6You do not ask for burnt offerings
and offerings to take away sins.
7Then I said, ‘Look, I have come.
It is written about me in the book.
God, I have come to do what you want.’ ”#Psalm 40:6–8
8In this Scripture he first said, “You do not want sacrifices and offerings. You do not ask for burnt offerings and offerings to take away sins.” (These are all sacrifices that the law commands.) 9Then he said, “Look, I have come to do what you want.” God ends the first system of sacrifices so he can set up the new system. 10And because of this, we are made holy through the sacrifice Christ made in his body once and for all time.
11Every day the priests stand and do their religious service, often offering the same sacrifices. Those sacrifices can never take away sins. 12But after Christ offered one sacrifice for sins, forever, he sat down at the right side of God. 13And now Christ waits there for his enemies to be put under his power. 14With one sacrifice he made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15The Holy Spirit also tells us about this. First he says:
16“This is the agreement I will make
with them at that time, says the Lord.
I will put my teachings in their hearts
and write them on their minds.”#Jeremiah 31:33
17Then he says:
“Their sins and the evil things they do—
I will not remember anymore.”#Jeremiah 31:34
18Now when these have been forgiven, there is no more need for a sacrifice for sins.
Continue to Trust God
19So, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death. 20We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain—Christ’s body. 21And since we have a great priest over God’s house, 22let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed, because we can trust God to do what he promised.
24Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. 25You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.
26If we decide to go on sinning after we have learned the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. 27There is nothing but fear in waiting for the judgment and the terrible fire that will destroy all those who live against God. 28Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was found guilty from the proof given by two or three witnesses. He was put to death without mercy. 29So what do you think should be done to those who do not respect the Son of God, who look at the blood of the agreement that made them holy as no different from others’ blood, who insult the Spirit of God’s grace? Surely they should have a much worse punishment. 30We know that God said, “I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them.” And he also said, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32Remember those days in the past when you first learned the truth. You had a hard struggle with many sufferings, but you continued strong. 33Sometimes you were hurt and attacked before crowds of people, and sometimes you shared with those who were being treated that way. 34You helped the prisoners. You even had joy when all that you owned was taken from you, because you knew you had something better and more lasting.
35So do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has a great reward. 36You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37For in a very short time,
“The One who is coming will come
and will not be delayed.
38Those who are right with me
will live by faith.
But if they turn back with fear,
I will not be pleased with them.”#Habakkuk 2:3–4
39But we are not those who turn back and are lost. We are people who have faith and are saved.
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