Posts Tagged With: shadows

Colossians 2: Don’t Settle For Shadows

When I was a child on sunny days I liked to play with my shadow.  My friends and I would make shadow puppets, play shadow tag, and try to guess what animals the other was making with their hands.

It would be a rather silly thing to do the same thing as adults.

Yet that is what the false teachers in Colossae were suggesting:

So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in a question of food or drink, or in the matter of festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These things are a shadow cast by the coming reality — and the body that casts the shadow belongs to the king. (2:16-17)

For Paul, the best kind of knowledge is the relational understanding of knowing Jesus, not just the esoteric knowledge of the false teachers for whom Jesus was more of a concept than a person (2:2-3).

Paul also emphasizes the relational side of baptism, something some of us today may have forgotten too.  Baptism is first and foremost about being buried and raised with Jesus (2:12).  Water baptism is always imitation of and a mysterious participation in the more important reality of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection; it is never the point itself.

Maybe that is a sign of all false teaching: it promotes a religion without a full and personal relationship with Jesus.

What do you think?

Categories: Colossians | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hebrews 8: Heavenly Realities

I will vote for this verse from today’s reading as the theme verse for the whole book.  It sums up quite succinctly the writer’s point as I understand it.

Now, you see, Jesus has obtained a vastly superior ministry.  In the same way, he is the mediator of a better covenant, which is established on better promises. (8:6)

What is real?

I was also drawn to this verse:

They [Jewish priests, sacrifices, and law] serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly realities. (8:5a)

Jesus, the heavenly high priest in the true Tabernacle in heaven who gave the once-for-all sacrifice, is the reality that matters.  Everything else is a copy intended to point to him.  Here we are again at one of those 180° turns.  What we think is reality is only a shadow.  What is reality is unseen and seemingly shadowy.  Plato would like this!

Do we think of it that way? 

Categories: Hebrews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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