Hebrews 8:5 (ESV)
They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
If you walk along a city street on a bright, sunny day, you will come across shadows. The shadows won’t really affect your walk. For example, you can walk through the shadow of a light pole because you know it is just a shadow of the pole. But it does make you aware that there is a light pole near you.
The priests that God ordained under the old covenant served in a tabernacle (and later a temple), that was like a shadow, or a copy, of what is in heaven, says Hebrews. That tabernacle and those priests were there in order to point to the real tabernacle in heaven and the real High Priest, Jesus Christ, who works on our behalf to save us from our sin and gives us new life forever with God.
Jesus represents the new covenant, and his work is far superior to that of the priests of the old covenant. Jesus is the real deal. Unfortunately, people got lost looking only at the shadow instead of looking to the real work of God in their lives and worshiping him as the only true God.
Jesus Christ came into the world so that we would no longer need the temple priests to intercede for us; he himself intercedes for us.
And he has made the perfect sacrifice, providing forgiveness of sins once and for all. Instead of looking at shadows, we are called to look to Jesus.
Dear Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You, knowing that You provide all that we need for salvation and for our full life forever. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.