The author of Hebrews is comparing the Ascension of Jesus to the work of the Jewish High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). On that day, the High Priest would sacrifice an animal to pay for the sins of all of God's people. He would then enter the Holy Place of the Jerusalem Temple and pass through the curtains separating it from the Holy of Holies. There he would present the sacrifice, pouring the animal's blood on cover of the Ark of the Covenant, also known as the Mercy Seat, obtaining from God forgiveness of the sins for all the people. At His Ascension, Jesus passed through the heavens to present the sacrifice of Himself before God's Gracious Throne and sat down next to His right hand -- the place of honor and authority.

This note was written by Rev. Robert E. Smith in 1994 for Project Wittenberg and was placed by him in the public domain.

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Rev. Robert E. Smith
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Concordia Theological Seminary
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Ft. Wayne, IN 46825
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