10Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it* can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach.
2Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin?
3But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year.
4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5Consequently, when Christ* came into the world, he said,
Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body you have prepared for me;
6 in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, See, God, I have come to do your will, O God
(in the scroll of the book* it is written of me).
8When he said above, You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, See, I have come to do your will. He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by Gods will* that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins.
12But when Christ* had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
13and since then has been waiting until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.
14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds,
17he also adds,
I will remember* their sins and their lawless deeds no more.
18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
19 Therefore, my friends,* since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 For if we wilfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30For we know the one who said, Vengeance is mine, I will repay. And again, The Lord will judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,
33sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
34For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting.
35Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.
36For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
in a very little while,
the one who is coming will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one will live by faith.
My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.
39But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011