This chapter which at first seems simple, packs a lot more than is at the surface (at least my scratching of the surface). The Jews lived under a set of rules and rituals that very strictly defined what they did and how they did it. I never could get my arms around splattering the whole temple with animal blood. YUCK! But, they had their marching orders and they followed them. I did not put this in context with the old covenant the Jews had with God but it was all part of the package.
Apparently, the book of Hebrews seeks to reassure the Jewish Christians that Christ, not the old Testament Law, is God’s ultimate plan for their salvation. This is the new covenant through Jesus. Back in Hebrews 8, the chapter references a quotation from the book of Jeremiah “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…it will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers…they broke my covenant…”
So this is the chance for the chosen people to start over, with less pomp and circumstance (and less gore). Instead of the old temple, approachable by the select few, they could approach Jesus’ temple (heaven) and could approach it on their own. And instead of the blood of animals, their (and our) sins are paid by the blood of Jesus. And it was paid once and does not need to be paid again. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
The chapter ends with the reminder that Christ came to earth to die (once) and when He comes again He will come to finalize God’s salvation for those who accept Christ and the judgement of all those who do not. Seems pretty clear, no time like the present to accept and embrace the new covenant.