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It is a privilege to pray for Moody's Student Development staff today. Timothy Arens, Joe Gonzales, Diannalee Hart, and Christina Randall appreciate your prayers as they help to facilitate overall growth in students' lives through training student leaders, financial aid, off-campus employment, and discipline.

Saturday, April 18, 1998
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. - Colossians 2:17
TODAY IN THE WORD

U.S. critic and lecturer John Mason Brown was giving a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when he noticed in the light of the slide projector that someone in the audience was mimicking his every move. Brown, annoyed, invited the person to leave. No one moved, and he continued his lecture. The mimicking shadow appeared. It took the nervous Brown another ten minutes to realize that he was seeing his own shadow.

That story illustrates the problem with focusing on a shadow. Since it's not the real thing, you can get distracted from the business at hand.

The writer of Hebrews called the Law of Moses a shadow--not the reality. That was not a negative statement toward God's holy Law, but simply a statement of the old covenant's built-in temporary nature. The system of sacrifices instituted under Moses was designed by God to foreshadow the coming of Christ and His once-for-all sacrifice.

But by the time Christ came, many in Israel did not recognize Him. They were so caught up in the rituals of Judaism that what was intended to be a shadow had become a thick cloud, obscuring the very Person the Law was meant to foreshadow.

Somewhere in all of this were the people we know as the Hebrews, apparently feeling intense pressure to step back into the shadows of the old system. But in chapter 10, the writer of this book continued his eloquent plea for them to come back to the light of Jesus Christ.

As we have seen time and time again, there was really nothing for them to go back to. Since Christ had rendered the Law obsolete by His atoning death, God was not pleased by the continual offering of sacrifices (v. 8). The priests may stand and offer their sacrifices day after day, but the fact has already been established that those sacrifices can never take away sins (v. 11).

Since atonement for sin could never be achieved through the bodies of sacrificial animals, God prepared a body for His Son. It was in that body that Jesus offered Himself on the Cross as the final sacrifice. The Hebrews, and all believers before and since, were the beneficiaries of Jesus' death.


TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Two of the ways we have benefited from Christ's death are mentioned in today's passage.

We were ""made"" holy at salvation (v. 10). This is God's declaration that we are now righteous before Him by virtue of Christ's death. And we are ""being made holy"" (v. 14). This is the ongoing process of Christian growth, of becoming more like Christ. In light of these exciting realities, why not renew your determination not to become distracted by the ""shadows"" around you?

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