Hebrews 9:11-22

God's new agreement

11 But now Christ has come as our special priest. He brings us the good things that are now here. He has gone into God's own place in heaven. That is a greater and much better tent than the old tabernacle. No person made this tent. It does not belong to this world at all. 12 Christ went into the Most Holy Place on our behalf. He did this once, for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats or young cows when he went in there. Instead, he took the blood of his own death to offer to God. In that way, he made us free from sin for ever. 13 The old rules said that the priest must use the blood of goats or bulls to make people clean. Or he could burn a young cow and mix the ashes with water. He would then splash the blood or the ashes over the people who were unclean. Then those people became clean again in their bodies, and they could worship God.

9:13Numbers 19:1-22 describes how the ashes of a young, red cow could make people clean for God.

14 But the blood of Christ's sacrifice will do much more than that! Christ offered himself to God, in the power of his Spirit, who lives for ever. That sacrifice was completely good. There was no wrong thing in Christ. He offered his own blood to make us completely clean inside ourselves. We no longer have to do things that lead to death. Instead, we can serve the God who lives for ever. 15 So, by Christ's death, God brings a new agreement between him and his people. God's people receive from him the good things that will be with them for ever. God has promised to give those things to the people that he has chosen. Christ's death has made them free from their sins. God will no longer punish them like the first agreement says should happen.

16 Think about this. A person may make an agreement about who will receive his things after his death. But nobody receives anything until it is clear that the person has really died. 17 The agreement only has authority after the death of the person who made it. It has no authority while that person is still alive.

18 So, even God's first agreement with his people needed the blood of an animal. The agreement only had authority after a death. 19 It was like this. Moses read God's laws aloud to all Israel's people. He told them every rule that God had given them. After that, Moses killed some young cows and goats. He took some of their blood and he mixed it with water. He threw some of the blood to drop on to the book of God's laws. He also caused some to drop on to all the people. He used red sheep's hair and some small branches of a plant called hyssop to throw the blood and water. 20 When Moses did this, he said to the people, ‘This blood shows that God's agreement with you has authority.’ 21 In the same way, Moses threw some of the blood on to the tabernacle. He also caused blood to drop on to all the things that the priests used to serve God there. 22 God's Law taught that blood was necessary to make almost everything clean. We see that God does not forgive people for their sins unless there is blood from a death.

9:21Exodus 24:3-8 describes the events that these verses are talking about.