10:20 by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us 1 through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 2 10:21 and since we have a great priest 3 over the house of God, 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, 4 because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience 5 and our bodies washed in pure water.
2 sn Through his flesh. In a bold shift the writer changes from a spatial phrase (Christ opened the way through the curtain into the inner sanctuary) to an instrumental phrase (he did this through [by means of] his flesh in his sacrifice of himself), associating the two in an allusion to the splitting of the curtain in the temple from top to bottom (Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). Just as the curtain was split, so Christ’s body was broken for us, to give us access into God’s presence.
4 tn Grk “in assurance of faith.”
5 sn The phrase our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience combines the OT imagery of the sprinkling with blood to give ritual purity with the emphasis on the interior cleansing provided by the new covenant: It is the heart that is cleansed and the conscience made perfect (cf. Heb 8:10; 9:9, 14; 10:2, 16).