Hebrews 9

1The first agreement had rules for worship. And it had a man-made place for worship. 2This place was inside a tent. The first area in the tent was called the Holy Place. In the Holy Place were the lamp and the table with the special bread offered to God. 3Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place. 4In the Most Holy Place was a golden altar for burning incense. And also there was the Holy Box of the Agreement. The box was covered with gold. Inside this box was a golden jar of manna and Aaron’s rod ˻(stick)˼—the rod that once grew leaves. Also in the box were the flat rocks ˻with the Ten Commandments˼ of the old agreement ˻written on them˼. 5Above the box were the Cherub angels that showed God’s glory. These Cherub angels were over the mercy seat. But we cannot say everything about these things now. 6Everything in the tent was made ready in the way I have explained. Then the priests went into the first room every day to do their worship. 7But only the high priest could go into the second room. And the high priest went into that room only once a year. And the high priest could never enter that room without taking blood with him. The priest offered that blood to God for himself and for the people’s sins. Those sins were the sins the people did without knowing that they were sinning. 8The Holy Spirit uses those two separate rooms to teach us this: that the way into the Most Holy Place was not open while that first room was still there. 9This is an example for us today. This shows that the gifts and sacrifices that were offered to God were not able to fully cleanse the person who was worshiping God. Those sacrifices could not make that person perfect in his heart. 10Those gifts and sacrifices were only about food and drink and special washings. Those things were only rules about the body—˻not about things inside people’s hearts˼. God gave those rules ˻for his people to follow˼ until the time of God’s new way. 11But Christ has already come to be the high priest. He is the high priest of the good things we now have. But Christ does not serve in a place like the tent that those other priests served in. Christ serves in a place that is better than that tent. It is more perfect. And that place is not made by men. It does not belong to this world. 12Christ entered the Most Holy Place only one time—enough for all time. Christ entered the Most Holy Place by using his own blood ˻(death)˼, not the blood of goats or young bulls. Christ entered there and got for us freedom forever. 13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow were sprinkled on those people who were no longer pure ˻enough to enter that place of worship˼. That blood and those ashes made those people pure again—but only their bodies. 14So surely the blood of Christ can do much, much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us fully clean from the evil things we have done. His blood will make us pure even in our hearts. We are made pure so that we can worship ˻(serve)˼ the living God. 15So Christ brings a new agreement from God to his people. Christ brings this new agreement so that those people that are called by God can have the things that God promised. God’s people can have those things forever. They can have those things because Christ died to pay for the sins that people did under the first agreement. Christ died to make people free from those sins. 16When a man dies, he leaves a will ˻(agreement)˼. But people must prove that the man who wrote that will is dead. 17A will means nothing while the man who wrote it is still living. The will can be used only after the man dies. 18It is the same with the first agreement ˻between God and his people˼. There had to be blood ˻(death)˼ before the agreement could be made good. 19First, Moses told all the people every commandment in the law. Then Moses took the blood of calves and mixed it with water. Then he used red wool and a branch of hyssop to sprinkle the blood and water on the book of the law and on all the people. 20Then Moses said, “This is the blood that makes the agreement good—the agreement that God commanded you to follow.” 21In the same way, Moses sprinkled the blood on the Holy Tent. He sprinkled the blood over all the things used in worship. 22The law says that almost everything must be made clean by blood. And sins cannot be forgiven without blood ˻(death)˼. 23These things are copies of the real things that are in heaven. These copies had to be made clean by animal sacrifices. But the real things in heaven must have much better sacrifices. 24Christ went into the Most Holy Place. But Christ did not go into the Most Holy Place that was made by people. That Most Holy Place is only a copy of the real one. Christ went into heaven. Christ is there now before God to help us. 25The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once every year. He takes with him blood to offer. But he does not offer his own blood ˻like Christ did˼. Christ went into heaven, but not to offer himself many times like the high priest ˻offers blood again and again˼. 26If Christ had offered himself many times, then he would have needed to suffer many times since the time the world was made. But Christ came ˻and offered himself˼ only once. And that once is enough for all time. Christ came at a time when the world is nearing an end. Christ came to take away all sin by offering himself as a sacrifice. 27Every person must die once. After a person dies, he is judged. 28So Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to take away the sins of many people. And Christ will come a second time, but not for people’s sin. Christ will come the second time to bring salvation to those people who are waiting for him.

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