ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 390
And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one
obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.
That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship
and a place of worship here on earth. There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of
bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. Then there was a
curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy
Place. In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the
Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the
Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves,
and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the Ark were the cherubim
of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place
of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now.
When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the
first room as they performed their religious duties. But only the high priest
ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in
ignorance. By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance
to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and
the system it represented were still in use.
This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and
sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of
the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and
drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were
in effect only until a better system could be established.
So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things
that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in
heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he
entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a
heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think
how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the
eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our
sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God
and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance