Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 10

A shadow of future things

Hebrews 10:1

We have often thought about copies and the reality as we have studied the Book of Hebrews. And here, the author has another example for us. The law is as a shadow of the good things in the future, he says.

We can discover much about the real thing from a shadow. A shadow has a similar shape to the real thing. A shadow can help us to understand how great the real thing is. The shadow could not exist unless the real thing also exists. And the shadow would not be there unless the real thing was near.

Here, the reality means the good things that God has promised. Christ is coming to rule the world as king. And at that time, God will complete his work in his peopleís lives. He will make his people perfect.

The law means the rules that God gave to the nation called Israel by means of Moses. Especially, it includes the rules for Israelís priests.

Those rules were similar to the good things that God is bringing about. The priests offered animals as sacrifices (gifts to God), which was similar to Christís death as a sacrifice. Their gifts made it possible for people to have a relationship with God, but those sacrifices were not the reality. Christís death is the reality, and by it, God is making his people perfect.

In the present age, we see the shadow better than we can see the reality. In this world, we are not yet perfect. God has told us his law before he rules this world as king. The reality exists, but it belongs to a future age. And that future age is near. Christ has died. So God has already started to do the good things that he promised. And what God has begun, he will complete (Philippians 1:6).

Next part: Reasons for the sacrifice of animals (Hebrews 10:2-3)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.