It’s only when we understand the burden of the law and everything associated with the Tabernacle and the sacrifices of the priesthood that we realize what Scripture is stating when it classifies those things as copies and shadows. To be sure God authored them all. God’s Law is perfect. The Tabernacle and the priesthood clearly pointed to Jesus for anyone who had eyes to see.
But the Law couldn’t save anyone. Working tirelessly sacrificing bulls and lambs and goats, in the end, couldn’t atone for sin. In order for sinful mankind to live in glory with their Holy God they would need a Priest of a higher order. They would need a once-for-all sacrifice that somehow satisfied the Law.
What God established with Moses and Israel on Mt. Sinai would need to fade, as shadows do, when a great Light comes on the scene. The heavy burden that the shadows imposed, causing the people to pretend they could keep their rigorous demands, must be replaced with better promises. The Law would need to be fulfilled; the Priesthood and sacrificial system brought to completion.
As the author of Hebrews states it, “as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” Jesus is the Light that took away the shadows. Jesus, our High Priest, fulfilled the requirements of the Law and became the sacrifice that atoned for sin for all who believe.
For the believer, law keeping is no longer a burden of duty but a life passion of love. Worship is no longer standing in the Temple court watching the High Priest working tirelessly but walking all over this world in a joy flowing from our Great High Priest.
Read Galatians 5:1-6
Paul states that “for freedom Christ has set us free.” (Verse 1) So, Christ Jesus set us free for the sake of freedom. He set us free from slavery to sin. He set us free from the heavy yoke of the Law.
How does Paul warn anyone who is considering going back to the law of circumcision? (Verse 2)
If you are being justified by trying to keep the law what is your relationship to Christ? (Verse 4)
How does faith working through love manifest itself in our lives? (Verse 5-6)