In the white room with black curtains near the station ...
I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.
[From "White Room" performed by Cream (1966-68)]
Hmmm ... if I didn't know any better I might think this described fears afflicting many believers today. We're in a white room but we see nothing but shadows - which run from themselves in fear - because a dark curtain keeps out the light. I know, I know, I'm reading something into an old Rock song ... but then again, fear is still fear, and shadowy interpretations are pitted against each other by propping the curtain back over the window - even though the place we are seated is the righteousness of Christ.
Why do shadows instill such fear, and why are we so compelled by them? The reasons may be different for you than for me, but this much is certain: there are Shadow-Masters at every turn waiting to play off those fears. Who are the Shadow-Masters? Those who take their stand upon their expertise as interpreters of shadows. Of course, I hope you recognize the contradiction of mastering something that cannot be understood by itself.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form [literally, image] of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Hebrews 10:1
Please notice that no suggestion is being made here regarding any badness in the Law, but that being a shadow of something else it was unable to produce the real effects of the real thing it foreshadowed. Realize this: as a shadow, the Law really didn't do ANYTHING except to indicate the nearness of the reality that would bring completion to man.
The problem we have with the Law today is that even though the reality has come - and has made us complete - we keep falling for the fears that seem to be lurking in the shadow. Why is that? Maybe it's because our perceptions have been so ingrained that we have accepted the shadow of Christ as somehow being his companion ... almost as if it's his evil twin brother!!
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:14-17
This false perception affects everything, including how we relate to the words of both OT and NT writings. Doggone it, we not only think the principles of the shadow can teach us how to live the reality of Christ, we have also turned the words of Jesus and the letters of the disciples into "Principles, part 2"!! What? Do we think God removed one veil so that He could establish another one to hide His reality from us? What will it take for us to distinguish the reality from the shadow?
Of course, you know I'm gonna do it again: STILL more to come ... :)