Christ’s Sacrifice Is Once and for All Time
1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming. It is not the real things themselves. The same sacrifices have to be offered over and over again. They must be offered year after year. That’s why the law can never make perfect those who come near to worship. 2If the law could, wouldn’t the sacrifices have stopped being offered? The worshipers would have been made “clean” once and for all time. They would not have felt guilty for their sins anymore. 3But those offerings remind people of their sins every year. 4It isn’t possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5So when Christ came into the world, he said,
“You didn’t want sacrifices and offerings.
Instead, you prepared a body for me.
6You weren’t pleased
with burnt offerings and sin offerings.
7Then I said, ‘Here I am. It is written about me in the book.
I have come to do what you want, my God.’ ” (Psalm 40:6–8)
8First Christ said, “You didn’t want sacrifices and offerings. You didn’t want burnt offerings and sin offerings. You weren’t pleased with them.” He said this even though they were offered in keeping with the law. 9Then he said, “Here I am. I have come to do what you want.” He did away with the shadow of the good things that were coming. He did it to put in place the good things themselves. 10We have been made holy by what God wanted. We have been made holy because Jesus Christ offered his body once and for all time.
11Day after day every priest stands and does his special duties. He offers the same sacrifices again and again. But they can never take away sins. 12Jesus our priest offered one sacrifice for sins for all time. Then he sat down at the right hand of God. 13And since that time, he waits for his enemies to be put under his control. 14By that one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15The Holy Spirit also speaks to us about this. First he says,
16“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts.
I will write my laws on their minds.” (Jeremiah 31:33)
17Then he adds,
“I will not remember their sins anymore.
I will not remember the evil things they have done.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
18Where these sins have been forgiven, an offering for sin is no longer necessary.
An Appeal and Warning to Remain Faithful
19Brothers and sisters, we are not afraid to enter the Most Holy Room. We enter boldly because of the blood of Jesus. 20His way is new because he lives. It has been opened for us through the curtain. I’m talking about his body. 21We also have a great priest over the house of God. 22So let us come near to God with a sincere heart. Let us come near boldly because of our faith. Our hearts have been sprinkled. Our minds have been cleansed from a sense of guilt. Our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The God who promised is faithful. 24Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.
26What if we keep sinning on purpose? What if we do it even after we know the truth? Then there is no offering for our sins. 27All we can do is to wait in fear for God to judge. His blazing fire will burn up his enemies. 28Suppose someone did not obey the law of Moses. And suppose two or three witnesses made charges against them. That person would die without mercy. 29People who deserve even more punishment include those who have hated the Son of God. They include people who have said no to him. They include people who have treated as unholy the blood of the covenant that makes them holy. They also include people who have disrespected the Holy Spirit who brings God’s grace. Don’t you think people like this should be punished more than anyone else? 30We know the God who said, “I am the God who judges people. I will pay them back.” (Deuteronomy 32:35) Scripture also says, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 135:14) 31It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32Remember those earlier days after you received the light. You remained strong in a great battle that was full of suffering. 33Sometimes people spoke badly about you in front of others. Sometimes you were treated badly. At other times you stood side by side with people being treated like this. 34You suffered along with people in prison. When your property was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew that God had given you better and more lasting things. 35So don’t throw away your bold faith. It will bring you rich rewards.
36You need to be faithful. Then you will do what God wants. You will receive what he has promised.
37“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come.
He will not wait any longer.”
“The one who is right with God will live by faith.
And I am not pleased with
the one who pulls back.” (Habakkuk 2:3,4)
39But we don’t belong to the people who pull back and are destroyed. We belong to the people who believe and are saved.