One Sacrifice of Christ Is Sufficient
1For since the Law has only a shadow [just a pale representation] of the good things to come—not the very image of those things—it can never, by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year, make perfect those who approach [its altars]. 2For if it were otherwise, would not these sacrifices have stopped being offered? For the worshipers, having once [for all time] been cleansed, would no longer have a consciousness of sin. 3But [as it is] these [continual] sacrifices bring a fresh reminder of sins [to be atoned for] year after year, 4for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5Therefore, when Christ enters into the world, He says,
“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,
But [instead] You have prepared a body for Me [to offer];
6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no delight.
7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
To do Your will, O God—
[To fulfill] what is written of Me in the scroll of the book.’ ”
8After saying [in the citation] above, “You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin” (which are offered according to the Law) 9then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” [And so] He does away with the first [covenant as a means of atoning for sin based on animal sacrifices] so that He may inaugurate and establish the second [covenant by means of obedience]. 10And in accordance with this will [of God] we [who believe in the message of salvation] have been sanctified [that is, set apart as holy for God and His purposes] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) once for all.
11Every priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over, which are never able to strip away sins [that envelop and cover us]; 12whereas Christ, having offered the one sacrifice [the all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself] for sins for all time, sat down [signifying the completion of atonement for sin] at the right hand of God [the position of honor], 13waiting from that time onward until his enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity]. 15And the Holy Spirit also adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]; for after having said,
16“This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will imprint My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will inscribe them [producing an inward change],”
He then says,
17“And their sins and their lawless acts
I will remember no more [no longer holding their sins against them].”
18Now where there is [absolute] forgiveness and complete cancellation of the penalty of these things, there is no longer any offering [to be made to atone] for sin.
A New and Living Way
19Therefore, believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus, 20by this new and living way which He initiated and opened for us through the veil [as in the Holy of Holies], that is, through His flesh, 21and since we have a great and wonderful Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22let us approach [God] with a true and sincere heart in unqualified assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 24and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
Christ or Judgment
26For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate], 27but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God]. 28Anyone who has ignored and set aside the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God, and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favor and blessing of God]? 30For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].
32But remember the earlier days, when, after being [spiritually] enlightened, you [patiently] endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33sometimes by being made a spectacle, publicly exposed to insults and distress, and sometimes by becoming companions with those who were so treated. 34For you showed sympathy and deep concern for those who were imprisoned, and you joyfully accepted the [unjust] seizure of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, conscious of the fact that you have a better possession and a lasting one [prepared for you in heaven]. 35Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward. 36For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.
37For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
38But My righteous one [the one justified by faith] shall live by faith [respecting man’s relationship to God and trusting Him];
And if he draws back [shrinking in fear], My soul has no delight in him.
39But our way is not that of those who shrink back to destruction, but [we are] of those who believe [relying on God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by this confident faith preserve the soul.