Under the Old Covenant Jewish religious system, God required the priests to continually make atonement in the first part of the temple for the sins of the people.  This involved animal sacrifices and ceremonies of the animal’s blood sprinkled on the altar of God (Example: Lev. 9:7, 12, 18, 3-24).  Once a year, the “high priest” went in and made a blood offering for himself and for the sins of the people in the holy of holies, second part, or inner part of the temple.

“…the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance.” (Heb. 9:6b-7).

Jesus Christ was the True High Priest, Who made the final sacrifice for sin with His physical death and shed blood on the cross in AD 30 (Heb. 9:26).  He was crucified, buried, and resurrected from the grave.  He completed His ATONEMENT work in the heavenly Holy of Holies after His ascension forty days later.

14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  15And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the  redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Heb. 9:14-15).

The physical shed blood of Christ is the eternal offering to cleanse the sins of all faithful believers, that they may receive the promise of eternal life.  It was necessary for His blood to be shed and offered as the FINAL ATONEMENT.  Otherwise there would be no eternal remission of sin.

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.(Heb. 9:22).

Christ’s ATONEMENT work was completed behind the second veil, in the part of the heavenly temple, which is called the Holiest of All. (Heb. 9:3).  He did not offer Himself often, as the Jewish high priest was required to do every year with the blood of animals in the Most Holy Place of the earthly temple.

24For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages. He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Heb. 9:23-26).

The Lord had accomplished the ATONEMENT for sin for all who would believe in the first century in AD 30.  However, the eternal access for His people into the Holy of Holies presence of God was not yet consummated UNTIL two things occurred.

First, He had to come back out a second time to show that His atonement had been accepted by God.  He accomplished this at His second coming Parousia in AD 66-70.  “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.  To those who eagerly wait for Him (firstcentury saints) He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for SALVATION (of all the faithful believers).” (Heb. 9:28).

Second, the first tabernacle had to be destroyed.  He accomplished this in AD 70 with the destruction of the earthly temple in Jerusalem.  “The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the n ay into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest (for His people) WHILE THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS STILL STANDING.(Heb. 9:8).

9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience – 10concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.(Heb. 9:9-10).


For a more in-depth study see the related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):

Soteriology “Study Series 1 Meaning, Need and Scope of Salvation”