For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The law knew nothing of a purged conscience. The sacrifices of the Levitical economy were designed to ease the conscience but they could not purify it. Every sin required a new offering, for there was no intrinsic value in the blood of beasts to actually settle the sin question. Outwardly there was purification, fitting one to enter the earthly sanctuary. Inwardly there was no cleansing such as we now have by virtue of the precious blood of Christ shed for us upon the cross. Dead works are those performed by dead sinners—from these, as from evil works, the conscience needs to be purged. The blood of Christ alone can avail for this. That blood is sprinkled on the mercyseat. The veil is rent, and man may now draw nigh to God in full assurance of faith.
The veil is rent:—our souls draw near
Unto a throne of grace;
The merits of the Lord appear,
They fill the holy place.
His precious blood has spoken there,
Before and on the throne:
And His own wounds in heaven declare,
Th’atoning work is done.
’Tis finished!—here our souls have rest,
His work can never fail:
By Him, our Sacrifice and Priest,
We pass within the veil.
—J. G. Deck
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 339.