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Sacrifice of Jesus. 11 [a]But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be,[b] passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation,(A) 12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.(B) 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes[c] can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed,(C) 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit[d] offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.(D)

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  1. 9:11–14 Christ, the high priest of the spiritual blessings foreshadowed in the Old Testament sanctuary, has actually entered the true sanctuary of heaven that is not of human making (Hb 9:11). His place there is permanent, and his offering is his own blood that won eternal redemption (Hb 9:12). If the sacrifice of animals could bestow legal purification (Hb 9:13), how much more effective is the blood of the sinless, divine Christ who spontaneously offered himself to purge the human race of sin and render it fit for the service of God (Hb 9:14).
  2. 9:11 The good things that have come to be: the majority of later manuscripts here read “the good things to come”; cf. Hb 10:1.
  3. 9:13 A heifer’s ashes: ashes from a red heifer that had been burned were mixed with water and used for the cleansing of those who had become ritually defiled by touching a corpse; see Nm 19:9, 14–21.
  4. 9:14 Through the eternal spirit: this expression does not refer either to the holy Spirit or to the divine nature of Jesus but to the life of the risen Christ, “a life that cannot be destroyed” (Hb 7:16).