What about entering the new and living way through the merit of God’s righteousness?
The writer of Hebrews expresses his desire for his readers to enter into the blessings of the New Covenant – “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10: 19-22)
God’s Spirit calls all people to come to His throne and receive grace through what Jesus Christ has done. This is one of the main benefits of the New Covenant which is based on Jesus’ sacrifice.
The writer of Hebrews wanted his Jewish brothers to leave the Levitical system behind and recognize what God had done for them through Jesus Christ. Paul taught in Ephesians – “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1: 7-10)
This ‘way’ was not available under Moses’ law, or the Levitical system. Under the Old Covenant, the high priest needed to make an animal sacrifice for his own sin, as well as sacrifices for the sins of the people. The Levitical system kept the people away from God, it did not provide direct access to God. During the time of this system, God temporarily ‘looked over’ sin, until the sinless One came and gave His life.
Jesus’ sinless life did not open the door to eternal life; His death did.
If we are in any way trusting in our ability to please God through our own righteousness, consider what Romans teaches us about God’s righteousness – “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3: 21-26)
Salvation comes through faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone.