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5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

 

5 who [Levitical priests] serve the copy

The word “copy” means imitation or sketch. Old Testament sacrifices were merely sketches of the true sacrifice of Christ. Levitical priests were only depictions of Christ’s priesthood, not the real thing.

and shadow of the heavenly things,

Worship in the Old Testament was simply a picture of true worship. Moses’ tabernacle was an earthly structure. “Shadow” suggests that structure mimics the true reality in heaven. It was an imperfect portrayal of the real thing (Co 2:17). It did not embody the reality. A shadow requires a real object to exist. Since the tabernacle was earthly, it will pass away, however, the earthly type was evidence that the Antitype was real.

as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle.

God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle according to His close specifications (Ex 26:30; 27:8; Nu 8:4). Evidently, the tabernacle was a general copy of the heavenly sanctuary. Christ entered a sanctuary that was not man made (He 9:24).

For He [God] said,

The following citation is from Exodus 25:40.

“See [heed] that you make all things according to the pattern [type] shown you on the mountain.”

The word “pattern” is the Greek word type. A type shows that there is something more than a model or the type itself. There is the reality which the model represents; Jesus went into the reality of what the type represented.

God commanded Moses to follow a “pattern” in building the tabernacle. A “pattern” is an accurate representation of something. The human sanctuary of Moses accurately presented the blueprint God laid out for him (Acts 7:44). It represented the Antitype of heaven’s sanctuary (He 9:11).

PRINCIPLE:

God never confuses the shadow with the substance.

APPLICATION:

Old Testament priests worked in the shadows but Jesus in reality. His sphere was heaven itself. God never confuses the type with the antitype. An Old Testament type is a picture of a specific New Testament truth. The type or shadow has no substance in itself. It was an ineffectual copy of the real thing. There is no value in it except for what it represents. The sanctuary in glory is not an enhanced tabernacle; it is the real thing. Jesus is a superior priest and He ministers in a superior place.

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