The idea that sin alienates people from a Holy God certainly isn't new. Indeed, the ancient Jews saw sin as a thing that pollutes or defiles. And if someone (or even something) was sullied by sin then that person dare not enter into the presence of a Holy God. According to the Old Testament, however, God has provided for his people a kind of solvent- a means of obtaining purification after defilement from sin. That thing is blood- specifically, the blood of certain animals that are sacrificed to God in the tabernacle by specially designated priests. This way of dealing with sin is what the author of Hebrews refers to as "the old covenant." The old covenant was always meant to be provisional. In other words, it was never a longterm solution to the problem of human sin. It only existed to point the way to a new and ultimately better way of dealing with human sin. It is this "new and better way" that is the subject of today's sermon. According to the new covenant, the Old Testament priests are no longer necessary. Instead, there is now one priest; namely, Jesus Christ. It is through him that sinful humanity can enter into the presence of a Holy God.