Shadows

These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Colossians 2:17

At this time of year (early October) the days get shorter, the nights get longer, the temperature gets cooler (at least in some parts of the world) and the shadows lengthen.

The powerful light source that produces shadows during the day is the sun. The shadows can take on the form of people, buildings, animals, trees – anything that gets in front of, or comes before, the light source.

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were slaves in Egypt four hundred years after Jacob brought his family down to live – and be saved by – his son Joseph.

No one wants to live as a slave. Israel was no different.

They cried out to God and God sent them a shadow.

I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, however. Moses was a great man. A prophet of God. He was the instrument of God’s delivery of Israel from slavery.

But he was also a shadow. The image produced by a powerful light source. Moses was not the source of the light, but was the result of light shining back through the centuries – the light of Jesus Christ!

The night before Moses led Israel out of Egypt and slavery, God instituted the Festival of Passover.

The people of Israel were to take a year-old, unblemished lamb, and prepare it for dinner. Some of the blood was to be smeared on the doorposts and lintels of their homes.

This Festival was to be observed yearly so that Israel would never forget that God had saved them from slavery.

But Passover was also a shadow. The Passover image was produced by a powerful light source. That source was, again, Jesus Christ. He was the lamb-without-blemish that shed his blood on the cross to forgive all the sins of all people of all time.

While on the journey to the Promised Land, about five months or so after they left Egypt, God instituted another annual Festival: the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.

This was the one day of the year that the High Priest of Israel could enter into the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was. The High Priest would sprinkle sacrificial blood on the “Mercy Seat” of the Ark of the Covenant for the atonement (forgiveness) of all the people of all their sins.

But Yom Kippur was also a shadow. The Day of Atonement was an image produced by a powerful light source. That source was, again, Jesus Christ. He provided the sacrificial blood for the forgiveness of everyone’s sins on the cross.

Shadows can reveal to us both the powerful light source that produces them and whatever comes between us and the light source.

The sacrifices instituted by God in the Old Testament, as well as many of the prophets, priests, and kings, all were shadows that pointed to the powerful light source that is Jesus Christ.

Today, Jesus’ casts his long, long shadow down through two millennia of history to us. The Sacraments, the liturgies, the Word of God, all reveal to us the powerful source of light that is Jesus Christ.

We can be shadows of Jesus in this dark and fearful world. We can – and should – tell of the love of God in Christ Jesus. His light and love can be the source of the shadow we cast on the people of this world.

Let us be shadows of Jesus and bring others to his light!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for your abundant mercy. We pray we will cast a shadow of Jesus Christ – the light of the world – on this dark and fearful world through our love and our message of his love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2017 True Men Ministries

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