Even the first testament—the first covenant—required blood to be put into action. When Moses had given all the laws of God to the people, he took the blood of calves and of goats, water, hyssop, and scarlet wool; and he sprinkled the scroll and all the people, telling them, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded for us.” In the same way, he also sprinkled blood upon the sanctuary and upon the vessels used in worship. Under the law, it’s almost the case that everything is purified in connection with blood; without the shedding of blood, sin cannot be forgiven. Heb 9:18-22
In [Hebrews 9] we are reminded that what is most real, what is most true, is the unseen reality. The writer tells us that the temple in Jerusalem, the holiest place on earth, was merely a copy or shadow of another place, the heavenly temple. Whatever took place in this shadowy temple could not change the realities of alienation from God, sin, and death.
Every year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would don his priestly garb and enter the most holy place in the temple. His task was profound, his duty dangerous: he must appear before God carrying the sins of his people. All the sins of Israel were concentrated in him as he carried the blood of the sacrifice into the divine presence. But there was another day, a Day of Atonement unlike any other, when Jesus concentrated in Himself the sins of the world, hanging on a cross not far from the temple’s holiest chamber. Indeed, for a time, He became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). But unlike the high priest, the crucified and risen Jesus entered the true temple of heaven and was ushered into the divine presence. At that moment, everything changed.