1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle prepared, the first one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a tabernacle called the Holy of Holies, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. But of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the outer tabernacle, performing their ritual duties. 7 But into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the holy place had not yet been disclosed as long as the outer tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is symbolic for the present time. According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 since they relate only to food and drink and various washings regulations for the flesh imposed until the time of reformation.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, he entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the holy place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a will is in force only when somebody has died, since it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not ratified without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you." 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. 25 Nor was it that he should offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. 26 For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But now, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him.