οὐδὲ δι᾽ αἵματος τράγων καὶ μόσχων διὰ δὲ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος εἰσῆλθεν ἐφάπαξ εἰς τὰ ἅγια αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑράμενος
King James Version:
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
I would like to provide two commentaries. Please read them both because they provide the impetus for this question.
But by his own blood - That is, by his own blood shed for the remission of sins. The meaning is, that it was in virtue of his own blood, or "by means" of that, that he sought the pardon of his people. That blood was not shed for himself - for he had no sin - and consequently there was a material difference between his offering and that of the Jewish high priest. The difference related to such points as these.
(1) the offering which Christ made was wholly for others; that of the Jewish priest for himself as well as for them.
(2) the blood offered by the Jewish priest was that of animals; that offered by the Saviour was his own.
(3) that offered by the Jewish priest was only an emblem or type - for it could not take away sin; that offered by Christ had a real efficacy, and removes transgression from the soul.
He entered into the holy place - Heaven. The meaning is, that as the Jewish high priest bore the blood of the animal into the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled it there as the means of expiation, so the offering which Christ has to make in heaven, or the consideration on which he pleads for the pardon of his people, is the blood which he shed on Calvary. Having made the atonement, he now pleads the merit of it as a "reason" why sinners should be saved. It is not of course meant that he literally bore his own blood into heaven - as the high priest did the blood of the bullock and the goat into the sanctuary; or that he literally "sprinkled" it on the mercy-seat there, but that that blood, having been shed for sin, is now the ground of his pleading and intercession for the pardon of sin - as the sprinkled blood of the Jewish sacrifice was the ground of the pleading of the Jewish high priest for the pardon of himself and the people.
But by his own blood - Here the redemption of man is attributed to the blood of Christ; and this blood is stated to be shed in a sacrificial way, precisely as the blood of bulls, goats and calves was shed under the law.
Once - Once for all, εφαπαξ, in opposition to the annual entering of the high priest into the holiest, with the blood of the annual victim.
The holy place - Or sanctuary, τα ἁγιᾳ, signifies heaven, into which Jesus entered with his own blood, as the high priest entered into the holy of holies with the blood of the victims which he had sacrificed.
So, how should Hebrews 9:12 be understood? Did Jesus bring his blood into heaven and offer it on the mercy seat in the heavenly Temple?