25th October 2022
Read (Hebrews 8v1-5)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
Those of us of a certain age will remember the days of the local video store. Mine was a place called "Zody's" on the Beersbridge Road. It's interior walls were painted black and it had three rows of VHS tapes available for the good people of East Belfast to rent. It was a weekend treat to go round to Zody's and pick out a few tapes to watch over the weekend and then when Monday came it was vital to return the tapes to avoid a fine.
If Zody's was too much hassle there was also the black market of our local car-boot sale where you could buy copies of recent movies and they would be yours to keep forever. This was of course entirely illegal and although the copies were cheap the quality was poor and quite often unwatchable. The real thing was always better.
The Old Testament's sacrificial system was also a copy. It didn't lack quality and it certainly wasn't illegal because it was instituted by God Himself. However the system of priests and sacrifice that we read about in the Old Testament was still of a copy of the real thing. What do we mean by this? The Apostle explains by saying that the priests of the Old Testament served a copy and shadow of the heavenly things (v5). It was Moses who had been commanded to erect the tent and to make sure it resembled everything that had been shown to him by God (v5b).
What was the tent that Moses erected? If you have ever read the book of Exodus then you will know that the Lord gave Moses exact details about the construction of the "tent of meeting". Eventually when Moses had followed the instructions and built the tent, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all the journeys in the wilderness the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day and fire by night.
Therefore the tent of meeting was an earthly copy of heavenly realities. Just as the Lord is reigning now in glory, the tent was a shadow and copy of that heavenly scene. The tent was God's idea but it was built and serviced by mortal men (v3-4).
Once again, compared to the Old Testament system, Christ is superior by far. Where is Jesus now? He is seated at the right hand and throne of God in heaven (v1). He ministers in the original and true heavenly place. Christ's "tent" is not an earthly copy but instead it is the true tent which man has not built (v2). Jesus doesn't serve in a copy or shadow of the real thing, instead He is the real thing and today our great high priest intercedes for us in heaven.
We don't need copies anymore and the church no longer worships in shadow. Christ is the fulfilment and substance of all the promises of God. Worship Him!
Q87 What is repentance unto life? Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.