Letter to the Hebrews
The old covenant prefigures the new
1 The religion of the Law is only a shadow of the good things to come; it has the patterns but not the realities. So, year after year, the same sacrifices are offered without bringing the worshipers to what is the end. 2 If they had been cleansed once and for all, they would no longer have felt guilt and would have stopped offering the same sacrifices. 3 But no, year after year their sacrifices witness to their sins 4 and never will the blood of bulls and goats take away these sins.
5 This is why on entering the world, Christ says: You did not desire sacrifice and offering; 6 you were not pleased with burnt offerings and sin offerings. 7 Then I said: Here I am. It was written of me in the scroll. I will do your will, O God.
8 First he says: Sacrifice, offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire nor were you pleased with them although they were required by the Law. 9 Then he says: Here I am to do your will.
9 This is enough to nullify the first will and establish the new. 10 Now, by this will of God, we are sanctified once and for all by the sacrifice of the body of Christ Jesus. 11 So, whereas every priest stands daily by the altar offering repeatedly the same sacrifices that can never take away sins, 12 Christ has offered for all times a single sacrifice for sins and has taken his seat at the right hand of God, 13 waiting until God puts his enemies as a footstool under his feet. 14 By a single sacrifice he has brought those who are sanctified to what is perfect forever.
15 This also was testified by the Holy Spirit. For after having de clared: 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them in the days to come says the Lord I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds. 17 He says: Their sins and evil deeds I will remember no more. 18 So, if sins are forgiven, there is no longer need of any sacrifice for sin.
Be confident in God
19 So, my friends, we are as sured of entering the Sanctuary by the blood of Jesus 20 who opened for us this new and living way passing through the curtain, that is, his body. 21 Because we have a high priest in charge of the House of God, 22 let us approach with a sincere heart, with full faith, interiorly cleansed from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast to our hope with out wavering, because he who promised is faithful. 24 Let us consider how we may spur one another to love and good works. 25 Do not abandon the assemblies as some of you do, but encourage one another, and all the more since the Day is drawing near.
26 If we sin willfully after receiving knowledge of the truth, there is no longer sacrifice for sin, 27 but only the fearful prospect of judgment and of fire which devours the rebellious. 28 For whoever violated the law of Moses there is no mercy: is put to death by the testimony of two or three per sons. 29 What, then, do you think it will be for those who have despised the Son of God? How severely shall he be punished for having defiled the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified and for having insulted the Spirit given to them? 30 For we know the One who says: Re venge is mine, I will repay. And also: The Lord will judge his people. 31 What a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Remember the first days when you were enlightened. You had to undergo a hard struggle in the face of suffering. 33 Publicly you were exposed to humiliations and trials, and had to share the sufferings of others who were similarly treated. 34 You showed solidarity with those in prison; you were dispossessed of your goods and accepted it gladly for you knew you were acquiring a much better and more durable possession. 35 Do not now throw away your confidence that will be handsomely rewarded. 36 Be patient in doing the will of God, and the promise will be yours: 37 A little, a little longer says Scripture and he who is coming will come; he will not delay. 38 My righteous one will live if he believes; but if he distrusts, I will no longer look kindly on him.
39 We are not among those who withdraw and perish, but among those who believe and win personal salvation.