The Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross
(1) For the law of Moses is only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these future realities. For this reason the law can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near to God in worship. (2) Otherwise, would not these sacrifices stop being offered? For the worshipers would have been purified once for all and would no longer have any guilty conscience for their sins. (3) But the law’s sacrifices are only a reminder of our sins every year, (4) because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
(5) Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he quoted the words of Psalm 40:6-8, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; (6) with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. (7) Then he said, ‘Here I am—the one written about in the scroll of the book—I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” (8) Jesus first said to God, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire; you were not pleased with them”—even though they were offered in accordance with the law of Moses. (9) Then he said to God, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He did away with the first (old) covenant to establish the second (new) covenant. (10) And by his will we have been made holy once for all through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ on the cross.
(11) Every priest stands day after day offering over and over again the same sacrifices that can never take away our sins. (12) But when our high priest Jesus offered himself once for all, one sacrifice for our sins, he was enthroned in the place of authority at God’s right hand, (13) and since that time he is waiting for his enemies to be put under his feet like a footstool. (14) For by the one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
(15) The Holy Spirit also witnesses to us about this, as he says (16) in Jeremiah 31:33, “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts and will write them on their minds.” (17) And again in Jeremiah 31:34, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” (18) And when our sins have been forgiven, sacrifices for sin are no longer necessary.
A New and Living Way
(19) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place in heaven by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way opened to us through the curtain, that is, Christ’s body, (21) and since we have a great high priest over God’s house, (22) let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts cleansed from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
(23) Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, because he who promised is faithful! (24) And let us discover new ways how to encourage one another toward love and good works, (25) not neglecting to meet together—as some believers have developed a habit of doing. Instead, build up one another! Do this all the more when you see the Day (the second coming of Jesus) approaching.
Apostasy and God’s Judgment
(26) If we choose to keep on living a life of sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins, (27) but only a fearful expectation of God’s just judgment and of a raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (28) Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses—(29) how much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled over the Son of God, and who has treated as unholy the new covenant in Christ’s blood that made them holy, and who has outraged (insulted) the Holy Spirit of grace? (30) For it is written in Deuteronomy 32:35, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” And in Deuteronomy 32:36 it says, “The Lord will judge his people.” (31) It is a terrifying thing to face the just judgment of the living God!
Standing Strong Through Persecutions
(32) Remember those earlier days after you had first received God’s light. You stood strong through a great conflict full of suffering. (33) Sometimes you were exposed to public insults and persecution; and at other times you stood side by side in friendship with those who were abused. (34) You also suffered along with those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the taking of your property, because you knew that you had better and everlasting possessions from God.
(35) Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, because it has a great reward. (36) For you must endure so that when you have done God’s will, you will receive what he has promised. (37) For as it is written in Habakkuk 2:3-4, “He who is coming will come and will not delay, (38) but my righteous one will live by faith, and I will not be pleased with the one who shrinks back.” (39) But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who believe and are saved.