who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."Hebrews 8:5(NASB)
The message of the gospel is so simple that even a child can understand it, but it is very difficult for people who are steeped in the Hebrew tradition to come to terms with what the Bible really teaches, that there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the Body of Christ, but we are all one new man in Him.
The Christian Church is not an earthly people with an earthly inheritance. Israel was chosen to be God's earthly people with an earthly inheritance. The Church is a heavenly people with a heavenly inheritance. The Church has a heavenly Sanctuary with a heavenly High Priest, and all that happened in Old Testament Jewry was a mere copy, a small shadow, an inferior version, a temporary template of the true heavenly reality.
The Tabernacle built by Moses, the Aaronic priesthood, and all the various gifts and sacrifices that were offered in bygone days, were temporary. They were an earthly representation of the true, permanent Tabernacle in heaven and the eternal, heavenly Priesthood after the order of Melchisedek, where Jesus Christ serves as our holy, heavenly High Priest.
God gave Moses specific instruction on how to build the earthly Tabernacle on Mount Sinai. He was commanded by the Lord to make an exact copy of the heavenly Tabernacle. He was given a perfect pattern of the heavenly Temple and charged to copy it and construct it on earth: "Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain," was God's solemn warning to His servant.
The earthly construction, the priesthood, the sacrifices, the articles, and implements were to be an exact copy of the superior things in the heavenly Holy Place. The earthly structure and service was to act as a mere shadow of all that took place in the true, heavenly Tabernacle. The priestly ordinances and services established by Moses were to act as a picture of the sacraments, ceremonies, and all that takes place in the high, holy, heavenly realm.
Although the Tabernacle Moses erected in the wilderness was also a template for the future Temple, it was in reality a mere copy. It was a small shadow and an inferior version of the great heavenly Sanctuary, where Christ today officiates as our great, heavenly High Priest. The earthly copy was to serve as a reminder. It was a subordinate copy and an earthly shadow of the heavenly reality.
The glory of the heavenly Sanctuary far surpasses that of the earthly one, but how many are tempted to forsake the true reality of the heavenly Place and hide back in the shadows of Old Testament Judaism? The veil has been rent from top to bottom, opening-up the heavenly things to whosoever will believe on Christ.
Old Testament institutions were a mere copy, a small shadow, a temporary type and inferior version of the higher, heavenly, spiritual, eternal reality. The Law and prophets simply pointed us to Christ Who is the Author of the heavenly. He serves in a permanent Temple with a superior Priesthood which provides a heavenly inheritance. In Him we have an everlasting reality with a better sacrifice, for Christ Jesus presented His shed blood on the sacrificial Alter in the true Sanctuary above so that by faith in Him we are forgiven of our sins, and made one with Christ.
How sad to see people so steeped in Old Testament tradition that they seek after an earthly shadow rather than the heavenly reality. The Law, the Prophets, and Old Testament Scriptures were all given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, but they point us to Christ, our heavenly High Priest and the heavenly Tabernacle "for they serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things."
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing picture of the high, heavenly Sanctuary and that Jesus is the Mediator of a better Covenant. Thank You that He stands in the gap between God and man. Thank You that Christ is fully God and good enough to pay the price for our sin and He is fully Man and died as our sin-sacrifice, offering His blood on the heavenly alter in Your holy presence. Praise His holy name, AMEN.