Hebrews explains how the temple in the Old Testament was an imperfect representation of the relationship between God and people. The veil itself representing a barrier between sinful man and the most holy God, a barrier to protect people from being destroyed by God’s holiness. Once a year, the high priest would pass through the veil into the holy of holies and then only after he had gone through many different rituals to ensure he was clean enough. (Leviticus 16). Even still, it was imperfect. All that ritual was only good enough for a brief time on one day a year. Something different had to be done!
Jesus is our high priest, one who is perfect and can stand before God forever that we might have our sins forgiven. Instead of sacrifices done over and over again, Jesus was able to make the perfect sacrifice once and it was done. Jesus could do it perfectly because he was perfect. Because of Jesus, the old and imperfect has been made new and perfect. Because of that sacrifice we have atonement. Because of that sacrifice we too can pass through the veil and “approach God with freedom and confidence” without fear.
“Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens… made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:26-28 (NIV)