SHADOWS OR CHRIST?
Heb.10: 1 - For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things…
Those would keep the law are keeping a shadow. The Living Christ is now who we love and obey, not words of stone. That word shadow could be called a “foreshadow”. But let us first establish what is meant by the ”law”. It is commonly used to refer to the law of Moses given on My. Sinai. Condensed down many people use the Ten Commandments as a substitute for the entire law, but it still refers to some of the law given to Moses by God. The Scriptures sometimes use the phrase “the law of the Lord” to mean God’s Word in general, however we are dealing specifically with the law of Moses here.
A young boy is enlisted to call out “The King is coming!” Although he is a peasant and not well groomed he performs his duty faithfully. He stands in the middle of the town square and calls out continually “The King is coming!” And then finally an entourage appears with much pomp and circumstance and then behold…the King himself appears in regal robes. Look at the crowd. Their eyes are fixated upon the King. Do they glance at the king and at the young boy as well? No. Does the young boy continue to call out “The King is coming”? No. The young boy has fulfilled his duty and he is no longer needed.
Years ago there was a game called “Mouse Trap”. It consisted of many components which were designed to help direct a steel ball along a path that would eventually release a cage that would capture that mouse. Along the way there was a trap door. And when the steel ball landed upon that trap door it gave way and the ball fell down upon another feature that would help move the ball along to its final destiny. And at the end the mouse was captured.
But should we reset that trap door? No, the mouse has been captured and that trap door has fulfilled its purpose. It is no longer needed. And the strength of that trap door was that it accomplished its design by showing its weakness and giving way to the steel ball. Yes, its weakness was its designed strength.
Heb.7: 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
The law has fulfilled its intended design and purpose. It guided God’s people by types and shadows and symbols into the knowledge of sin and also the knowledge of forgiveness through a blood offering. But when the substance arrives; when the final revelation comes upon the scene; when the complete offering is made; when the incarnate Word is born; when the King arrives, then the law is no longer needed for now we have a Father and a Brother and we are chastened through them and not a legal citation written in stone.
I obeyed my earthly father because I respected and loved him and not because of some penal code. And we obey the Lord Jesus because we love Him and not because of the law of Moses. This New Covenant has nothing to do with Mt. Sinai, but it has everything to do with Mt. Calvary. I am afraid there is so much material to cover than I will not be able to put it all in one post. It is amazing that after two thousand years of church history we are still attempting to incorporate the law with grace. The law is poison to grace. And Paul makes it clear that while we are not under any law it does not give us license to sin. But please, let us not besmirch the unspeakable gift of grace with some tortured amalgam of the law and grace.
But let us take a look more closely at the order of Melchisedec. The writer of Hebrews informs us that Jesus was not after the order of Aaron which would come under the law. He even calls that part of the law a “carnal commandment”. He suggests that the law of Moses appealed to the flesh but the New Covenant seeks the Spirit. You see, many people who parade the law have a problem with self righteousness. But let us unclothe the emperor here. No one can keep the law. No one. In the 15th chapter of Acts even James must admit that. And when the apostles gathered in Jerusalem to discuss whether the Gentiles should obey the law Peter stood up and spoke.Acts 15: 7- And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Here it is. It is by grace we are saved, and it is by grace we are sanctified as well. We do not commit adultery because we love Jesus and walk in the Spirit but not because of the Ten Commandments. There are many more of the commandments of Jesus than just ten. And even if some of the New Testament moral teachings replicate those of the law of Moses they still are in the Spirit and not in tablets of stone. But why did the Spirit make it clear that Jesus was made a priest after the order of Melchesidec? Because the New Covenant ushered in a brand new way that was completely different than the Old Testament law. This New Covenant in which we live and move and have our being is not just some updated and improved version of the law. No, this is a better covenant with better promises and with God Himself as the Author, Finisher, and our High Priest.
Rom.8: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Carnally minded? What did the writer of Hebrews call the law? The carnal commandment. It has fulfilled its purpose and it is now to be “done away with”. The law was the ministry of death while grace is life. Go ahead and meditate on these verses for the next post.
Rom.7: Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when e were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.