A Shadow of Things To Come

Read Hebrews 8

“They [the Jewish High Priests] serve at a sanctuary that is a copy
and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was
warned when he was about to build the tabernacle:
“See to it that you make everything according to
the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
(Hebrews 8:5)

Thoughts… Perhaps you’ve never given any thought as to why God ordered things to be a made or done a certain way. You might assume that God just randomly decided things to be a certain way. I am speaking of things like the design of the ark (both Noah’s three-level boat as well as the ark of the covenant), the pattern of the tabernacle, the various laws of Moses, the seven days of creation, the manna from heaven, the sexual union of a husband and wife, and so on and so forth.

I would suggest, along with the writer of Hebrews, that God was never random in the things he created, in the miracles he performed, in the laws he established, or in the processes he required. In doing what he did, he was acting according to that which was already established in heaven. What we experience here in our reality is but a pattern of what already exists in heaven. In a very real sense, our experiences on earth are but a shadow of a greater, heavenly reality. Perhaps that would even explain why most of us have a perfectionistic spirit when it comes to things that are truly important to us. As C.S. Lewis once said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

For that reason, the writer records God’s words to Moses: “Make sure you get this tabernacle exactly right because it represents what is already perfect in heaven.” In reality, when God asked his people to build a tabernacle, or observe a law, or live a certain way, it was simply the warm up act, the rehearsal, of what was to come in heaven.

That is not to downgrade the significance of our earthly realities. It is simply to say that we need to get them right here so that we will be ready for what is to come in eternity. Let me give you a few examples:

Our worship here is a prelude to the worship of heaven. If we cut corners in, or check out of, or complain about praise and worship now, we need to think about this: We are rehearsing for heaven. In meeting challenges and resolving problems between people in the body of Christ now, we are getting ready to rule the world and judge the angels in eternity, according to I Corinthians 6:1-3. When we live in a loving, intimate, pleasurable relationship with our spouse now, that is the warm up to a deeply intimate, indescribably satisfying love relationship in store for us with the Triune God in heaven.

Everything we do now counts toward everything that we will be doing then. That’s why we need to get it right here—so we can be ready for there.

Think about that today as you go through your day. Put more effort into your assignments, exhibit greater patience with irritating people, love your family more openly and affectionately, spend money more wisely, think more purely, and worship God more freely, more fully.

Live every aspect of your life not just for the moment, but for all eternity; not just for yourself, but for God’s pleasure; not for your glory, but for His glory!

Prayer… Father, help me in the here and now to do life right so that I will be well prepared for eternal life someday. I know that I am saved now, that is not in doubt. I am simply yet expectantly asking you to help me to leverage my salvation today in preparation for your purposes for me in heaven. Strengthen me by your Holy Spirit to make every moment on earth count.

One More Thing… “What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.” — Martin Luther

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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