1 So indeed the first covenant had its regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. 2 For the first or outer part of the tent, which is called the holy place, was equipped with the lamp and table and the presentation bread. 3 But behind the second curtain is the tent that is called the holy of holies, 4 with its golden incense-altar and the chest for the covenant, completely covered with gold, and in it a golden jar which held the manna, Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets on which the covenant was written; 5 and above the chest were the winged creatures, the symbols of God's glorious presence, overshadowing the mercy seat, of which I cannot now speak in detail.
6 With these arrangements completed in this way, the priests in conducting their official services regularly go into the outer part of the tent of worship; 7 but into the second or inner part nobody but the high priest may go, and he only once a year, and never without blood which he offers for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit was showing that there was as yet no access to the real sanctuary while the outer tent was still in existence, 9 for it is merely a symbol of the present time in connection with which gifts and sacrifices are repeatedly offered though they cannot make the conscience of the worshiper perfect, 10 since they deal only with food and drink and various washings, that is, with mere material regulations which are in force only until the time of setting things straight.
11 But when Christ came as the High Priest of good things that have already taken place, He went by way of that greater and more perfect tent of worship, not made by human hands, that is, not belonging to this material creation, 12 and not with blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He once for all went into the real sanctuary and secured our eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and a heifer's ashes sprinkling those who are ceremonially unclean purifies them with physical cleansing, 14 how much more surely will the blood of Christ, who with an eternal Spirit gave Himself a spotless offering to God, purify your consciences from works that mean mere death, to serve the ever living God?
15 And this is why He is the Mediator of a new covenant, in order that, after He had suffered death for securing redemption from the offenses committed under the first covenant, those who had been invited to share it might obtain the eternal inheritance promised them. 16 For when a will is made, it is necessary that the death of him who makes it be proved. 17 For a will is valid only after a man is dead, since it has no force whatever while the one who made it is alive. 18 So not even the first covenant was ratified without the use of blood. 19 For after every regulation in the law had been spoken by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, crimson wool, and a bunch of hyssop, and sprinkled the book containing the law and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood that ratifies the covenant which God commanded me to make with you." 21 In the same way he sprinkled with blood the tent and all the utensils of the priestly service. 22 In fact, under the law, almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood no forgiveness is granted.
23 So, on the one hand, the copies of the original things in heaven had to be purified with such sacrifices; but on the other hand, the original things themselves in heaven with better sacrifices than these. 24 For it was not a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, that Christ entered, but it was into heaven itself that He went, in order now to appear for us in the very presence of God. 25 And He does not enter to offer Himself over and over again, as the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for, if that had been the case, He would have had to suffer over and over again, ever since the creation of the world. But, as it is, once at the close of the ages He has appeared, to put away sin by His sacrifice. 27 Indeed, just as men must die but once and after that be judged, 28 so Christ was offered once for all to take away the sins of many, but again He will appear, without having anything to do with sin, to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him to bring them final salvation.