Christ’s sacrificeSacrifice is commonly understood as the practice of offering or giving up something as a sign of worship, commitment, or obedience. In the Old Testament grain, wine, or animals are used as sacrifice. In some New Testament writings Jesus' death on the cross as the... More of himself is superior to animal sacrifices prescribed by the law of MosesProphet who led Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land and received the law at Sinai More. The blood of Christ purifies people’s consciences so that they might worship God.
Hebrews depicts Jesus’ death and exaltation as actions that purify the human conscience. In the Old Testament, the high priestThe high priest was the most powerful priest in the temple in Jerusalem. The high priest Caiaphas held the office during the trial of Jesus. Later, in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the role of merciful high priest is ascribed to the resurrected Jesus. More went into the inner part of the earthly sanctuaryA sanctuary is the consecrated area around the altar of a church or temple. It also means a place of safety where one can flee for protection. In the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, God is referred to as a sanctuary, a refuge from... More, bringing animal blood to make atonement. JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More, however, offered himself up through his death on Calvary, and he has been exalted to God’s sanctuary in heaven, where he ministers on behalf of others. The message of this act of graceGrace is the unmerited gift of God's love and acceptance. In Martin Luther's favorite expression from the Apostle Paul, we are saved by grace through faith, which means that God showers grace upon us even though we do not deserve it. More is what awakens faith in people, and faith is what brings people into right relationship with God. This is why the author can say that Christ’s death cleanses the conscience. By awakening faith, the message of Christ’s death removes the barrier of sin and guilt, restoring people to right relationship with their Creator.