In the time of the tabernacle and of temple, there was a room, an outer area, referred to as the Holy Place. In this area, there was a lampstand and a table with the consecrated bread of the presence. In this room, the Levitical priests would go in and out and do their work to bring offerings and sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of the people and the community each day throughout the year.
Then, past another curtain further still inward, there was another room referred to as the Most Holy Place, also referred to as the Holy of Holies. In this place was the golden altar of incense and the golden ark of the covenant that contained the manna from the time that the Israelites wandered in the desert, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets which were what God had written His law.
One time per year, the High Priest who had been chosen for that year would enter into the Most Holy Place to come before the Lord. As he did this, he would offer sacrifices of a bull for his sins as well as a goal for the sins of the people, and would then sprinkle the blood of each on the atonement cover, also referred to as the mercy seat, which was the cover over the ark of the covenant.
So this is what the human High Priest would do. But the writer of Hebrews says that, in Christ, we have a High Priest that is much greater and explains why:
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.Hebrews 9:12
In fact, we do see an incredible difference here. Christ came with a one-time offering for all. He didn’t come once per year as the High Priest of the Jews would do. He came one time for all.
What is more, Jesus didn’t bring with him the blood of animals. Jesus brought his own blood. His blood was pure because he was innocent. And he was not only innocent, he was holy. He hadn’t been born of the seed of man. He hadn’t inherited the curse that had been passed down from Genesis 3. Jesus was holy and had not sinned, so he could offer one time for all a single perfect sacrifice.
That is who our High Priest is. His work is done and he is now sitting beside the Father in heaven.
That is what our High Priest has done. He has offered his own blood. Not the blood of animals, but the blood of perfect, and in this case holy, man.