He who embodied the sins of the world carries His own blood into the holy presence.
10 We have seen how the law is simply a shadow of the good things to come. Since it is not the perfect form of these ultimate realities, the offering year after year of these imperfect sacrifices cannot bring perfection to those who come forward to worship. 2 If they had served this purpose, wouldn’t the repetition of these sacrifices have become unnecessary? If they had worked—and cleansed the worshipers—then one sacrifice would have taken away their consciousness of sin. 3 But these sacrifices actually remind us that we sin again and again, year after year. 4 In the end, the blood of bulls and of goats is powerless to take away sins. 5 So when Jesus came into the world, He said,
Sacrifices and offerings were not what You wanted,
but instead a body that You prepared for Me.
6 Burnt offerings and sin offerings
were not what pleased You.
7 Then I said, “See, I have come to do Your will, God,
as it is inscribed of Me in the scroll of the book.”[a]
8 Now when it says that God doesn’t want and takes no real pleasure in sacrifices, burnt offerings, and sin offerings (even though the law calls for them), 9 and follows this with “See, I have come to do Your will,”[b] He effectively takes away the first—animal sacrifice—in order to establish the second, more perfect sacrifice. 10 By God’s will, we are made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus the Anointed once and for all time.
11 In the first covenant, every day every officiating priest stands at his post serving, offering over and over those same sacrifices that can never take away sin. 12 But after He stepped up to offer His single sacrifice for sins for all time, He sat down in the position of honor at the right hand of God. 13 Since then, He has been waiting for the day when He rests His feet on His enemies’ backs,[c] as the psalm says. 14 With one perfect offering, Jesus has perfected forever those who are being made holy, 15 as the Holy Spirit keeps testifying to us through the prophet Jeremiah. After he says,
16 “But when those days are over,” says the Eternal One, “I will make
this kind of covenant with the people of Israel:
I will put My laws in their hearts
and write them upon their minds,”[d]
then He adds,
17 I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory
as though they had never existed.[e]
18 When there is forgiveness such as this, there is no longer any need to make an offering for sin.
19 So, my friends, Jesus by His blood gives us courage to enter the most holy place. 20 He has created for us a new and living way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh. 21 Since we have a great High Priest who presides over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with true hearts full of faith, with hearts rinsed clean of any evil conscience, and with bodies cleansed with pure water. 23 Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful. 24 Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, 25 not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches.
The word translated “church” in English Bibles means literally “assembly of the called”; it implies that members have said “yes” to God’s call in their lives. We assemble because we are called into being by God Himself. Some people, for reasons only they know, choose to live their Christian faiths in isolation. When they do, they cut themselves off from the gifts, encouragement, and vitality of others. And perhaps, just as tragically, they deprive the church of the grace and life God has invested in them.
26 Now if we willfully persist in sin after receiving such knowledge of the truth, then there is no sacrifice left for those sins— 27 only the fearful prospect of judgment and a fierce fire that will consume God’s adversaries. 28 Remember that those who depart from the law of Moses are put to death without mercy based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.[f] 29 Just think how much more severe the punishment will be for those who have turned their backs on the Son of God, trampled on the blood of the covenant by which He made them holy, and outraged the Spirit of grace with their contempt. 30 For we know the God who said, “Vengeance belongs to Me—I will repay,”[g] also said, “The Eternal One will judge His people.”[h] 31 It is truly a frightening thing to be on the wrong side of the living God.
32 Instead, think back to the days after you were first enlightened and understood who Jesus was: when you endured all sorts of suffering in the name of the Lord, 33 when people held you up for public scorn and ridicule, or when they abused your partners and companions in the faith. 34 Remember how you had compassion for those in prison and how you cheerfully accepted the seizure of your possessions, knowing that you have a far greater and more enduring possession. 35 Remember this, and do not abandon your confidence, which will lead to rich rewards. 36 Simply endure, for when you have done as God requires of you, you will receive the promise. 37 As the prophet Habakkuk said,
In a little while, only a little longer,
the One who is coming will come without delay.
38 But My righteous one must live by faith,
for if he gives up his commitment,
My soul will have no pleasure in him.[i]
39 My friends, we are not those who give up hope and so are lost; but we are of the company who live by faith and so are saved.
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.