Hebrews 8
The Shadow Has Been Replaced by the Real Thing

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Today's Bible Reading: Hebrews 8

Selected Biblical Text
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They 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." But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:1-6 NIV)

Reflecting and Thinking
The typology of Hebrews is not easy to understand -- one must take time to think it through. First, one must understand the words. The type is not the real thing; the real thing is the antitype. This seems backward to many people. Think about a typewriter or the now antiquated process of typesetting. The type is not the real thing -- the type is a reverse image which leaves a correct imprint (the real thing) when it touches the paper. The writer of Hebrews is saying that what we see here on earth is a copy or shadow (a type) of the real thing which is in heaven. The real throne of God was not in the earthly tabernacle, it is in heaven. The pattern given on Mount Sinai was based on the real thing in heaven. So also with Jesus' high priesthood, access to the heavenly throne, Jesus' ministry, Jesus' mediation, the new covenant, and the better promises. What we see here on earth is merely a reflection or copy of the real thing!

In view of this chapter, consider how easy it is to become satisfied with less than the real thing. What areas of your life can you think of where you have accepted something less than God's ultimate plan for you? Think of other applications of this principle in your own Christian life?

Dearest heavenly Father, how incredible that we can come before your real throne in heaven as a result of Jesus' high priestly function! How incredible that we do not merely come to a physical location where you exist, but that we come into your very presence through Jesus. Help us to see what is real, and to celebrate the fact that most of what we see here is only a support system for this temporary world. Help us even in the here and now to understand better the beauty of the real thing. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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Last updated January 23, 2019