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The Holy Place~Jesus is The New Covenant
In case you're not familiar with exactly what went on in the tabernacle under the old covenant, the author breaks it down for you. Back in Exodus, God gave Moses the instructions to make a tent. Inside the tent there was a lampstand (or menorah), a table, and some bread. The author calls this "the Holy Place." There was also a curtain or veil that separated out another section of the tent: the Holy of Holies. This was the V.I.P. section that held the Ark of the Covenant. The only person who could ever enter this area was the high priest, and he could only peek in once a year on Yom Kipper. Once inside, he would sprinkle the blood on the Ark of the Covenant. The idea was that this ritual would help the priest and the people atone for their sins and get right with God again. Needless to say, the author is pretty critical of all this. When Jesus sacrificed himself, he didn't just purify people's bodies; he also worked his magic on our minds, spirit, and conscience. Now, believers are freed from performing "dead works" and they can put their faith in a God who's alive. Think of it this way, says Hebrews: Christians are God's kids and they're entitled to inherit all the good things he has. But generally, you can't claim an inheritance until someone dies. So it's kind of like God wrote a will for humanity and then, when Jesus died, we got to cash in. Bottom line: someone has to die. The author is pretty sure that you need a little blood spilled to start up a new covenant. When he died, Jesus waltzed right into Heaven and put in a good word for all of humanity with the Big Guy. People only get to set foot on this Earth once, but Jesus will come back. Last time, he sacrificed himself for our sins. The next time he makes an appearance, says the author, he'll save all the people who had faith in him.