devotion column Erasmus Makarimayi
THE presence of a shadow means there’s a real image somewhere. Who would in their right mind chase a shadow when reality is there?
Lord Alfred Tennyson says: “The folly of all follies is to be love sick for a shadow.” The Bible describes the law as having a shadow of something better than it. By law, we mean the law of Moses made up of the Ten Commandments and about 613 others to regulate this covenant. If the law was a shadow let’s, therefore, seek the reality and true image.
The purpose of the law was for humanity to see its shortcomings and impute sin for human beings to see the need for salvation. The Messiah (Jesus) was thus needed to redeem us from this hopeless state. The law was a fault finder. It painted a clear picture of our sinful nature, prompting us to run away and seek cover in Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, there are some who still arrogantly deny the grace of God in Christ Jesus, supposing they can use what God Himself abolished. All the devil wants to block us from the finished work of Jesus Christ. Satan has nothing to do with theories or philosophies that paint a picture of hope towards God. What he doesn’t want is the exaltation of Jesus Christ as the only way to God.
All the scriptural figures, types and shadows collapse into Jesus, who is the reality. The law foresaw the coming of good things, but couldn’t perfect the observers to taste those good things. Hebrews 10:1 puts it thus: “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.”
The law, therefore, foreshadowed better things which itself could not offer. The very image of the shadow is Jesus who the legalists and religious leaders want to keep you away from. Apostle Paul sums up in Colossians 2:17: “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Jesus, the light of the world has shined and the shadow has gone.
We should also note the allegory (shadow) as represented by Moses’ anger that culminated in him breaking the tables of the Ten Commandments before he had even came to the people. Exodus 32:19 reads: “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” The first set of the stone tables where the Ten Commandments were written broke. Please, read the story in full for full insight.
Moses himself didn’t enter promised land, Canaan, because he broke the law. Numbers 20:12 tells us: “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Moses was supposed to speak to the rock instead of hitting it.
All this symbolises that no one can be justified by works of the law. Only by the grace of God in Christ Jesus can we be saved. Moses himself knew the inadequacy of the law in bringing people to God. He didn’t relate with God through the law, but through grace.
Exodus 33:13 records: “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” Having a close revelation of God, Moses was persuaded that the law couldn’t take him to God. He had a past tainted with murder. However, God chose him not on merit, self effort or works, but by grace. We’re made right before God in Christ.
Romans 8:30 clears: “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” It’s based on the substitutionary sacrificial death of Christ.
A committed vain pursuit to please God by the deeds of the law keeps one under condemnation, guilt and inadequacy. Sometimes you’re kept in hope of something that you will never realise. An unattainable futuristic image is painted. You always come short.
Proponents will give you reasons for your failure such as lack of faith, or that you didn’t sow a certain seed or you “ate” God’s money by not paying tithes or paying a less percentage. Run away from deception. Seek Jesus who was sought by Moses. Moses sought grace; you better seek grace. Please, don’t chase shadows, choose reality. It’s simple. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.