We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all - this is God's will.
Day after day every Jerusalem Temple priest takes his turn on the roster to perform his religious duties; repeatedly he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But when the Great High Priest I am writing about, Jesus Christ had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies - the ones who reject and even despise the cross on which he died - to be made his footstool.
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.
First he says (in Jeremiah 31:33):
"This is the covenant I will make with them, after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts and I will write them on their minds."
Then he adds (in Jeremiah 31:34):
"Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
In conclusion, where these sins and wrongdoings have been forgiven in such a complete manner, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
From now on the only sacrifice God's people are asked to make is the sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Sunday by Sunday, indeed day by day, the effectiveness and finality of this Great High Priest's sacrifice means, sisters and brothers, that we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, that is, to draw close into the immediate presence of Holy God, to outrageously claim fellowship and communion with God himself.
The blood Jesus shed on the cross, the blood we could say of the High Priest who was also the sacrificial Lamb, has opened for us a new and living way into the presence of God - the curtain at the entrance to the Holiest of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple has been thrown wide open so we can enter.
So, having such a wonderful great priest over the family of God, let us draw near to God with sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith in Jesus brings, because through faith we know that our hearts are sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water.
On this Good Friday, as we remember these things for our benefit and give praise and thanks to God for sending Jesus to be both High Priest and Lamb, let us travel through space and time to the place outside the Jerusalem city gate where Jesus suffered to make the people holy through his own blood.
Let us, then, go to him, outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore - beyond the security of comfortable domestic arrangements, let's go to the marginal places, to where Jesus is, willing to be despised and ridiculed for his sake. It's tough, but our horizons in life are not limited to a house in suburbia and a career in an inner city office, we are looking for the city which is to come, the heavenly city of God.
Indeed, as we look with understanding eyes on Jesus dying on the cross, let's resolve to continue our journey of faith. Perseverance in these days of trials and tribulations is vital. Others have gone before us through testing times - they form a great cloud of witnesses who urge us on.
Let's throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles us.
Let's run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfectoer of faith.
Here is the thing, this Good Friday:
For the joy that was set before him, Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.