You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 For [gar] the law [nomos] having [echo] a shadow [skia] of good things [agathos] to come [mello], and not [ou] the very [autos] image [eikon] of the things [pragma], can [dunamai] never [oudepote] with those [autos] sacrifices [thusia] which [hos] they offered [prosphero] year by year [kata] [eniautos] continually [eis] [dienekes] make [teleioo] the comers thereunto [proserchomai] perfect [teleioo]. KJV-Interlinear
1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.
Under the Old Testament Law, the sacrifices and feasts had to be repeated over and over. again and again. Sacrifices were offered daily. The feast celebrations were held several times per year, and year after year they were observed.
But all of the old ways were nothing more than shadows. The word used here for shadows is 'skia.' This means a faded shadow. This is not even a clear and crisp shadow, but one which is faded and somewhat obscured. You have to look real hard in order to see its outline.
We know that a shadow is not the real thing. It has no substance. When looking at a shadow, you cannot determine the exact detail of the thing that it represents. You cannot know the height, the depth, the various intricacies of the real thing. You have to be able to look at the thing which is in the way of the light and thus producing the shadow, in order to know more about what the shadow is an outline of.
The Levitical priesthood and all of its symbols and sacrifices and observances were nothing more than shadows. They could accomplish nothing but help a person who sees the shadow, look for and find or discover the reality. They were teaching aids.
Placing shadows on top of shadows gives you nothing more than the original shadow. All of the sacrifices in all of the many centuries of history of the Old Testament never added up to the reality of what they portrayed. A shadow of a tree will never become the tree.
Even in modern Judaism today, most of those former shadow rituals have faded away even more. They do not have a Temple. They do not have a Tabernacle. They do not have an alter. The sacrifices have long since been discontinued. Most of the annual feasts are not even celebrated anymore. And those which are observed, are generally observed with candles and out of habit, and nothing more. The faded shadow of then, has faded even more in our current day.
The priests of old could not draw near to God, even though that was always a desire.
15 Then he said to Him, 'If Thy presence does not go with us ... NASB
11 Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; NASB
Unfortunately their desire to draw near was often based on mans terms and not Gods. The substance of the principles taught was rejected and the shadows became the substitute because they were something that man could control and something that man could even modify if he chose to do so.
Often times the big conflict in our lives is control. We hold onto that which we perceive that we can control and we let go of that which we perceive as losing control.
For example we want to control the details of our life. We want to make our own decisions and determine our own paths through life. If we turn to God then we might perceive that as turning over our freedom of choice, to Him and then we have to live our life based on faith. Shaky ground for most.
Another example. A woman who marries may not want to turn over her self determination to her husband, because that would involve a huge leap of trust in him. So the shaky ground keeps her from making that commitment.
And so it is with our spiritual lives. If we turn our life over to God then we need to have the maximum resources in our soul so that we will not be on shaky ground and thus allowing us to trust in God. Making that last statement more than a cliché takes a leap of faith, based on doctrine in the soul, spiritual growth, common sense, and nerves of steel (at times).
You cannot trust someone you do not know. And getting acquainted requires lots of study and familiarity. That is where your daily Bible study comes into view for your spiritual life. Trust should be based on knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Real wisdom. Never on emotional or popular fads.
Fools can say, 'Praise the Lord,' and such things, but only a wise person who has grown up spiritually, can actually make the commitment and understand just how things work in this world.
Being irresponsible in life is not one of the virtues of the spiritual life.
17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. NASB
Holding onto the old ways is tantamount to holding onto ones stubborn ways of living. You have to release, or learn to release, your life responsibly (not in an irresponsible and emotional fashion) to God in order to really achieve the life that you really want. You won't make it any other way.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.