Do you remember the passage in Ps.91 that says "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty"? Well, that was Old Testament thinking that was motivated by their confidence in the law.
But, now we who have believed no longer dwell UNDER the shadow of the almighty. His presence now dwells IN us by grace through faith because God Himself has come in Jesus Christ.
In Heb.10:1,2 Paul wrote, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins."
When Paul wrote these things he was telling Israel, Hebrews, that the law was only the shadow of which Jesus is the substance. So that worshipping in accordance with the law is to worship the shadow Jesus cast. Rather than worshipping Jesus Himself. Very impersonal.
This is also what Paul said in Col.2:14,15. He said, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
This means that if you are involved in a church or religion that judges sin according to what you eat, holydays, new moons, or the sabbath days, it is a church or religion that is worshipping the shadow, and not Jesus Himself. It is clinging to the Old Testament, and not the New.
And if you are involved with a church or religion that judges sin by works of any kind you are worshipping the shadow, and not Jesus Himself.
This is one reason why Paul concluded in Rom.3:23 that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Because the "all" he was speaking of are those who worship the shadow. Those who think in terms of works and behavior to define sin. Rather than the substance to define sin which is faith in Jesus.
Because when they do this they miss Jesus who is standing right there. For the shadow that is the law that He casts. And missing Jesus, that is "they believe not on me", is the sin Jesus died for. They "fall short" not because of bad behavior. They "fall short" because instead of worshipping Him they worship according to the Old Testament, the shadow. Instead of worshipping Jesus Himself. And because of this they never realize His glorious presence.
These shadow worshippers miss Jesus by exchanging the gift they could have just as Esau did. They exchange it for what Paul describes in Rom.4:1-4 as the reward that comes to those who work. And for the wages that in Rom.6:23 Paul says are death because they receive it not by faith. But, by works. This is why the wages of sin is death. Because as Paul said in Gal.2:16, by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Paul continues making this point in Heb.10 saying in vs.3,4, "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
Here he shows that the blood of bulls and goats were never meant to take away sin. But, he is not speaking of the forgiveness of sins. He is speaking of the consciousness of sins. Which when removed sin is truly taken away. By this the Israelite is truly free from sin.
Because the law with it's sacrifices was a constant reminder of sins for the Hebrew. This is why the law could never take away sins. But, only purify to the cleansing of the flesh.
In Heb.9:13-16 we see Paul saying pretty much the same thing. He says, "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator."
This shows that Paul was not saying there was no forgiveness or cleansing from sin under the law. To the contrary, he plainly said there was. But, that those sacrifices under the law could not "purge the conscience from those dead works". Because they were given to serve as a constant reminder of sins so that these natural men would remember not to do them.
This is one reason why Jesus had to come for Israel. For it was necessary that He bring an end to the law. Because as long as they were under that covenant that constantly reminded them of sins there could be no freedom from sin. But, only a constant reminder that was the thing that gave sin dominion over them. This is why in 1Cor.15:56 Paul said "The strength of sin is the law".
A strength that would only be broken when they are no longer under the law. Which Paul says plainly in Rom.6:14 if and when this happens, "Sin no longer has any dominion over you for you are not under law but under grace".
So the answer to Israel's dilemma that would purge their conscience of sin was for a final sacrifice that would bring the need for any further sacrifices to an end. This is why Jesus was the "he" Dan.9:27 spoke of that would "cause the sacrifices and oblations to cease". Making and end of the Old Testament and bringing in a New Testament.
This is what we see in Heb.10:5-9. Here Paul says, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."
Here Paul shows that the final once for all sacrifice for sins under the law was in the offering of the body prepared for Jesus. An offering for sin that brought an end to the testament that demanded those offerings. Offerings that were a constant reminder of sins under the law that could not give life. And taking away the first Jesus established the second. Where those sins that were under the law nom longer have any dominion over the Israelite. Because he is now no longer under law, but under grace.
And under grace all that is needed for salvation is faith in Jesus. A faith that works by love. The love of God that brought Jesus to join with man in our mortality. So that by faith in Him and His resurrection we can join with Him in immortality.
His body was offered not only as a sacrifice to bring an end to the sins under the law. But, also for the "sin of the world" that John said the lamb of God takes away. Sin that is taken away when a man places his faith in Jesus. Sin that Jesus defined in John16:9 as "They believe not on me".
This is why God had no pleasure in the sacrifices of bulls and goats. Not because they didn't bring forgiveness of the sins under the law year by year for Israel. Heb.9:14 plainly says they did. But, because they could not purge their conscience of sins. Because those sacrifices were a reminder, not a purging, of those sins under the law. So how could they?
But, because the gift of Jesus' body on the cross God brought an end to the Old Testament, the sacrifices and oblations that were reminders to Israel of sins under the law have ceased. Because Jesus' final once for all sacrifice "taketh away the first, that He may establish the second".
So no more does the Jewish believer think in terms of "thou shalt not". Because now do unto others which is the work of the law established in them, makes them now think only in terms of love for God and others. Israel's conscience has been purged from those dead works by the final once for all sacrifice for sins. And Gentiles have turned from their idols to faith in the true and living God.
So unbelieving Jews, and the Gentiles who have fallen under the spell of the Judaizers, must not worship the shadow. They must turn from idolatry of the law to know and love the substance which is Christ. To a very personal relationship with Jesus. Only then will the liberty that is in Christ Jesus be ours.
Shadow worship is bondage to sin because the law gives sin it's power. But, worship of Jesus frees men from sin by delivering them from the shadow as Rom.7:6 says. Into the glorious power of an endless life. This is why Paul said there is no law for the righteous man.
So if you want freedom from sin you must turn from the shadows and worship Christ Himself. Don't hide in the shadows anymore. Turn from any belief that works have anything to do with how we are saved or how we stay saved. You must turn from the belief that God punishes you when you are bad. And rewards you when you are good.
Because Jesus did not come to make bad people good. He came to give mortal men immortality. This is why when you confess Jesus is your Lord. And believe He has raised from the dead you are saved.
Because when Jesus is your Lord you submit your will to His just as He submitted His will to the Father.
And by this faith of Christ you are justified. And when you believe that He raised from the dead you are acknowledging that you believe He has conquered death for you too. To make you spiritual and change you from mortal to immortal.
Pray to Jesus this confession and belief and receive eternal life.
Do this... and I will see you there or in the air!
This message can also be heard at: Rumble