Because of the better priesthood and the better covenant a better worship is established. First, the sanctuary is described. Christ is set forth as the One who has entered into a greater Tabernacle through a greater service. His entry into the Holy Place is "once ' for all," because He has for ever dealt with sin.
The superiority of the sacrifice is emphasized, for it is able to "cleanse the conscience from dead works to serve the living God." The words used here to describe the central mystery of redemption are arresting. Christ is seen suggestively as Priest and Sacrifice. He offered Himself: "through the eternal Spirit."
On the basis of this great sacrifice the new Priest had entered into the Holy Place. A testament or a covenant always becomes operative through death. Moses had initiated the service of the tabernacle of old by the shedding of blood. So Christ, "once at the end of the ages," having "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," initiated a new covenant of life through the gateway of death.
The pre-eminent thought in this section is that now in the priesthood of Christ a place of worship, unlocalized and unlimited, is provided. Wherever is found the soul who will come to God through Him, there He is as Priest, with the value of His own sacrifice, providing redemption and acceptance; and, moreover, having exhausted judgment in the process of His death, He hides from coming judgment all who trust in Him, changing the dread of that awful assize into the glorious hope of His own second appearing.
Second Sunday after Epiphany