These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians 2:17
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. Hebrews 10:1
Jesus dispelled the shadows. He did away with shadows because He is light. There can be no shadow in Him at all.
The Bible teaches that the law and the prophets — indeed the whole Old Testament is a shadow of the new. The 39 books of the Old Testament are full of shadows that are shadowing the coming of Christ.
Good novelists do this all the time with their stories. A good novelist foreshadows in the first part of a book what is coming so you read with anticipation. The two great tools of a good storyteller are inevitability and surprise. You are expecting something to happen based on what the first part of the story shadows, but when the actual thing happens, it surprises you because you couldn’t have known exactly how it would happen.
So when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, it was the real thing — the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers — not just a shadow of the Holy Spirit or a temporary visit, as it was in the Old Testament, but a permanent, indwelling of the Spirit of God.
In our BlogTalkRadio interview last night with Barry McGuire, he mentioned that he doesn’t say he’s following Christ anymore; he is in Christ. It’s not what you do for Christ; it’s what you do in Christ. We’re not walking with Christ; we are in Christ. Jesus is not next to us; He is in us.
So what does all this mean for us? It means, historically, we have stepped out of the shadows. We can see what kings and prophets have longed to look into. We see the fulfillment of the promised Messiah; we receive the forgiveness of our sins; we receive the promised Holy Spirit; and we have the promise of His return.
And what does that mean except that we can step out of the shadows in our own lives. No need to hide. One of the headlines today in relation to the scandalous stories about Harvey Weinstein reads, “He was hiding in plain sight.” I have areas in my own life that I would like to keep in the shadows, but Jesus wants me to step out of the shadows, because He is the light, and there is no shadow in Him, and no hiding from Him. In that light is disclosure, but also forgiveness, and that forgiveness is the beginning of our transformation.