Day 3

Replacing Shadows



“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a ministry in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.”

          - Hebrews 8:1-2



This passage of Scripture might seem random, and at first glance not a typical Christmas verse, however the bridge that the book of Hebrews builds from the Old Testament to Jesus is so important.The point of the book of Hebrews was written to demonstrate that Jesus Christ has not just come to fit into the earthly system of priestly ministry as the best and final human priest, but he has come to fulfill and put an end to that system, and thus orient all our attention on himself ministering for us in heaven. Back then, a biblical priest went before God on behalf of the people and became this sort of mediator. In other words, the Old Testament tabernacle and priests and sacrifices were shadows. Now the reality has come, and the shadows pass away. 

Here’s an Advent illustration for kids (and for those of us who used to be kids and remember what it was like). Suppose you and your mom get separated in the grocery store, and you start to get scared and panic and don’t know which way to go, and you run to the end of an aisle, and just before you start to cry, you see a shadow on the floor at the end of the aisle that looks just like your mom. It makes you really happy and you feel hope. But which is better? The happiness of seeing the shadow, or having your mom step around the corner and seeing that it’s really her? That’s the way it is when Jesus comes to be our High Priest. That’s what Christmas is. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.


Further Reading

Hebrews 10:11-25. I love how the author leads up to verse 22. Read verses 11-21 several times over and over, and then allow your hearts to marinate on the wondrous reality of the assurance of our faith. 

  • Where does it say that our confidence and assurance of faith comes from? Why is that so significant?
  • Our hearts are sprinkled clean, yet how often do we not "draw near with a true heart"? Why is this the case at times?

Advent devotional content adapted from Good News of Great Joy