But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
Comment: The New Covenant set in place by Jesus is here compared to the Old Covenant.
- The High Priest had to go through all the parts of the tabernacle and then but once a year part the heavy veil and enter with the blood of sacrifice into the Presence of God. The sacrifices he offered, being but the blood of bulls and goats, could not effectively deal with the real problems that sin caused in the relationship between God and mankind. Blood and ashes were neither a permanent nor eternally satisfying answer to the problem of sin.
- Jesus the Christ, that is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, was the perfect man offering His own life as the perfect sacrifice for mankind’s sin.
- He didn’t open the veil to pass for a short time into the Presence of God, but tore it in two and split the back wall of the Holiest of Holies and marched triumphantly into the very Presence of God to be a permanent High Priest as our constant representative in the very Presence of God. He obtained permanent redemption for His followers.
Modern Western man doesn’t think in these terms but they are the history of the way that Christians think today. We skip, maybe too often, the way God led the Jews to think of the sinfulness of sin and the need for the Justice of the Loving God to be satisfied before He could accept people freely back into a close relationship with Himself. This passage highlights the significance of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus in making Him the destroyer of the Old Covenant and setting up one which can clear our consciences and make us acceptable to God.
Prayer: Help me to deeply consider what this part of Your Word is saying, O God.