Seeking to know Jesus and to make Him known to others

The shadow and the real thing

The Wednesday homegroup has now reached chapter 8 in its studies in the letter to the Hebrews and we were particularly blessed last week to consider the similarities and yet stunning differences between the Old Covenant under Moses and the New Covenant in Christ.  The Life Application Study Bible has a very helpful table illustrating the ‘shadow’ and the ‘reality’, together with the application for each Christian, and this is summarised below – the first comment is the Old Covenant shadow, the italicised words the New Covenant reality and in bold is the application.

  • Gifts and sacrifices by those guilty of sin / Self-sacrifice by the guiltless Christ / Christ died for me
  • Focus is a physical building for worship / Focus is the reign of Christ in believers’ hearts / God is directly involved in my life
  • A shadow / A reality / Not temporal, but eternal
  • Limited promises / Limitless promises / I can trust all of God’s promises to me
  • Failed agreement by people / Faithful agreement by Christ / Christ has kept the agreement which I couldn’t keep
  • External standards and rules / Internal standards – a new heart / God sees my actions and my motives – I am accountable to Him, not to rules
  • Limited access to God / Unlimited access to God / God is personally available to me
  • Based on fear / Based on love and forgiveness / Forgiveness keeps my failures from destroying the agreement
  • Legal cleansing / Personal cleansing / God’s cleansing is complete
  • Obey the rules / Serve the living God / A relationship, not rules
  • Forgiveness earned / Forgiveness freely given / I have complete forgiveness
  • Repeated yearly / Christ’s death was once for all / Christ’s sacrifice was perfect and final
  • Human effort / God’s grace / Initiated by Christ’s love for me
  • Available to some / Available to all / Available to me

Are you enjoying the realities of the New Covenant or still living in the shadows?

Peace and Grace

Paul