Hebrews 9 New Life Version (NLV)
The New Way of Worship Is Better
9 There were special ways of worship and a special holy place made by man for the Old Way of Worship. 2 A big tent was built and set up. It was called the holy place. It had a light and a table, and the holy bread was on the table. 3 Behind the second curtain there was another tent. This was called the Holiest Place of All. 4 In the inside tent there was an altar where special perfume was burned. There was also a large box made of wood called the box of the Way of Worship. Both of these were covered with gold inside and out. Inside the box was a pot made of gold with the bread from heaven. It also had in it Aaron’s stick that once started to grow. The stones on which the Law of Moses was written were in it. 5 Above the box were the cherubim of honor. Their wings were spread up and over and met in the center. On the top of the box and under the shadow of their wings was the mercy-seat. We cannot tell anymore about these things now.
6 When everything was finished, the Jewish religious leaders went in and out of the outside tent to do the things which had to be done to worship God. 7 Once each year the head religious leader would go into the inside tent alone. He would not go in without blood. He gave this blood to God as a gift in worship for his own sins and for the sins of all the people who sinned without knowing it.
8 And so the Holy Spirit is teaching that, with the Old Way of Worship, the people could not go into the Holiest Place of All as long as the outside tent and its Old Way of Worship were being used. 9 The outside tent is a picture of that day. With the Old Way of Worship, animals killed and gifts given in worship to God could not take away the guilty feeling of sin. 10 The Old Way of Worship was made up of Laws about what to eat and drink. These Laws told how to wash and other things to do with the body. These things had to be done until Christ came to bring a better way of worship.
The New Way of Worship Has a Better Gift
11 But Christ came as the Head Religious Leader of the good things God promised. He made the way for man to go to God. He was a greater and more perfect tent. He was not made by human hands and was not a part of this earth. 12 Christ went into the Holiest Place of All one time for all people. He did not take the blood of goats and young cows to give to God as a gift in worship. He gave His own blood. By doing this, He bought us with His own blood and made us free from sin forever. 13 With the Old Way of Worship, the blood and ashes of animals could make men clean after they had sinned. 14 How much more the blood of Christ will do! He gave Himself as a perfect gift to God through the Spirit that lives forever. Now your heart can be free from the guilty feeling of doing work that is worth nothing. Now you can work for the living God.
15 Christ is the One Who gave us this New Way of Worship. All those who have been called by God may receive life that lasts forever just as He promised them. Christ bought us with His blood when He died for us. This made us free from our sins which we did under the Old Way of Worship.
16 When a man wants to give his money to someone after he dies, he writes it all down on paper. But that paper is worth nothing until the man is dead. 17 That piece of paper means nothing as long as he is alive. It is good only when he dies. 18 The Old Way of Worship had to have a death to make it good. The blood of an animal was used. 19 Moses told the people all the things they had to obey in the Law. Then he took the blood of animals together with water and put it on the Book of the Law and on all the people. He used special branches and red wool as he put it on them. 20 Moses said, “This is the blood of the Way of Worship which God said you must obey.” 21 In the same way, Moses put the blood on the tent and on all the things used in worship. 22 The Law says that almost everything is made clean by blood. Sins are not forgiven unless blood is given.
One Perfect Gift
23 The tent to worship in and the things inside to worship with were like the things in heaven. They were made clean by putting blood on them. But the things in heaven were made clean by a much better gift of worship. 24 For Christ did not go into the Holiest Place of All that was made by men, even if it was like the true one in heaven. He went to heaven itself and He is before God for us. 25 Christ has not given Himself many times, as the head religious leader here on earth went into the Holiest Place of All each year with blood that was not his own. 26 For then Christ would have had to die many times since the world began. But He came once at the end of the Old Way of Worship. He gave Himself once for all time. He gave Himself to destroy sin. 27 It is in the plan that all men die once. After that, they will stand before God and be judged. 28 It is the same with Christ. He gave Himself once to take away the sins of many. When He comes the second time, He will not need to give Himself again for sin. He will save all those who are waiting for Him.