6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
The greatest moment for the Jewish high priest was when he went into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. The ritual for this event was carefully prescribed by the law (Lev 16). This glorious day faded into the background when compared to Christ entering heaven as our High Priest.
Now when these things had been thus prepared,
The first five verses remind us of the structure and items in the tabernacle. Beginning at verse 6 the Holy Spirit gives the significance of the purpose behind the two rooms in the tabernacle.
the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.
Only the priests and Levites were permitted to enter the tabernacle. The Mosaic law did not allow other tribes to enter. The tabernacle was not for the general population of Israel. It was not a place where people assembled for worship.
The priests went into the first room of the tabernacle day after day to perform their services. Ordinary people could not enter the tabernacle. That was only for priests. The priests were their representatives. The outer room of the tabernacle was a symbol of the Mosaic economy. There they cared for the lampstand, replaced the bread of the Presence and sacrificed two lambs every day.
The “always” indicates that the priests never finished sacrificing. There was no final sacrifice at that time.
But [contrast] into the second part
The “second part” refers to the Holy of Holies room in the tabernacle. By contrast the high priest’s function was entirely different from the priests who went into the tabernacle daily. His service was much more restrictive.
the high priest went alone once a year,
God made the Holy of Holies room inaccessible except for the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement. Free access into this room or the immediate presence of God was not possible for anyone else.
not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins
The high priest could not enter the Holy of Holies without blood sacrifice (Lev 16:11, 14). Hebrews mentions “blood” 18 times, 8 times in this chapter alone. The concept of blood sacrifice is very important to the idea of payment for sin.
committed in ignorance [unintentional];
These are sins of inadvertent errors. However, this sin was culpable nevertheless.
The perfect and complete sacrifice for sin came when Jesus died on the cross.
Endless repetition of sacrifices in the Old Testament meant that there was no complete or finished sacrifice of sin by animals. Only the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ could finally and fully pay for sin. His sacrifice was permanent.
Those who attempt to earn God’s pleasure by their behavior never know that they have done enough. These people need to know that Christ completed everything they failed to accomplish in reference to God. We are acceptable to God because of Him.