9:11 When Christ [inaugurated/established new covenant] came [appeared] as high priest of the good things [comprehensive way of summing up the blessings Christ has won for His people] that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made [heavenly sanctuary of God’s presence (cf. Heb. 8:1-2; 9:24)], that is to say, not a part of this creation.
9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all [final; in contrast to repetition of priest’s work under old covenant] by his own blood [Christ offered His own blood], having obtained [secured] eternal redemption [release by payment of a price].
9:13 The blood of goats and bulls [offerings presented on Day of Atonement (cf. Lev. 16)] and the ashes of a heifer [offering to remove uncleanness associated with contact with a corpse (Num. 19:1-10)] sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them [thus qualifying the person for again worshiping God] so that they are outwardly clean [cleansing under old covenant primarily outward/ceremonial].
9:14 How much more [stresses incomparable greatness of Christ and His work for us], then, will the blood of Christ [His death regarded as sacrifice for sin], who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished [without imperfection; cf. 1 Pet. 1:18-19] to God, cleanse our consciences [inner, spiritual cleansing] from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve [to do religious service, to minister] the living God!
9:15 For this reason [“refers to Christ’s effectiveness in offering sacrifice and cleansing from sin so that the believer might worship the living God” (Rienecker/Rogers)] Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal [not temporary] inheritance — now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly [some Jewish purificatory rites involved water or fire as well as the shedding of blood] everything [people and things] be cleansed with blood [symbolized cleansing and forgiveness; blood is a symbol of life because it keeps alive], and [cf. Lev. 17:11] without the shedding of blood [Jesus shed his blood (his life)] there is no forgiveness.
9:23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things [the heavenly counterparts of the earthly sanctuary] themselves with better sacrifices [the single sacrifice of Christ stands as the fulfillment of all the different sacrifices of the old covenant] than these.
9:24 For Christ did not enter a man-made [earthly] sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he [Christ (not priests or saints) is our representative and Advocate] entered heaven itself [before God Himself], now to appear [always] for us [Christ is our intercessor and our only mediator] in God’s presence [literally “face”].
9:25 Nor did he enter heaven [“once for all” (Heb. 9:12)] to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year [indicating a job that never ended] with blood that is not his own [the blood of a sacrificial animal offered to bring cleansing to the nation].
9:26 Then [if Christ’s sacrifice had been like the OT sacrifices] Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he [Christ initiated a new covenant and was the perfect sacrifice] has appeared once for all [in contrast with “many times” (Levitical sacrifices that must be repeated] at the end of the ages [cf. “in these last days” (Heb. 1:2); refers to Jesus coming to earth in fulfillment of OT prophecies] to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.