Shadows of Heaven
I used a phrase last week about the law being a shadow of Heaven (or, something like that). The phrase is taken from Colossians 2:17; (ESV) “These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” The reference is to celebrations of (and observance of) the Law of Moses. Shadows of heaven are also mentioned in Hebrews 10:1; “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.” Again, the context is the discussion of the Law, this time the sacrifices. When examining the Law and why it was put into place wonder is bound to come upon the student.
God has put into place all the reasons for needing the sacrifice of a Messiah. God has shown how the sacrifice must take place, where, when, how… Amazing. Our God has told us outright what we need (the shed blood of God the Son); and more- HE PROVIDED! Because we could not, and still cannot, fathom the full extent His love He put a tutor in place (Galatians 3:24-25) to show us what He needed to do to redeem our relationship.
Sure, God could have sacrificed His Son and then commanded our respect and worship as soon as the fruit was chewed. But, He started slowly. “Hey, Abram: I promise…” and from that point we start seeing a masterful plan unfold that culminates with the revealed mystery of salvation (Colossians 1:26; Ephesians 3). Now, we can clearly see what prophets and angels longed to see. No more silhouette or shadow, but we can clearly say: God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that whomever believes in Him should not perish.