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Types and Shadows

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

You have likely heard of this term (title) if raised in church, particularly among evangelicals, though too often over simplified for my curiosity. As I read through Hebrews these last couple mornings, these thoughts keep over "shadowing" my mind.

Reading Hebrews 8:5, "a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven," I felt it necessary to further contrast the sanctuaries of this earth, even the physical, historical, human Jesus and the risen Christ. Surely therein bears meaning relative to the above.

A high priest, seated in the the heavenlies sounds so earth like; does this also better align, even strengthen the concept of the Body of Christ here on Earth. Certainly more meaningful than some simple archetype of the now well-scattered denominational groups of redeemed that meet in physical structures acoss the globe, especially when one considers words like "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh," All of this is quite challenging.

For some, why would it matter, but folk like me struggle for the deeper meaning behind the text, given the ever evolving information about this world we live in. I am not the typical "flat lander" type.

The words "above the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26) caught my eye earlier, with the thought that perhaps another dimension exists beyond (above) all that we humans can comprehend. These possibilities are foundational to religion. Yet, that is where those most ardent in their resistance to "this God up in the sky thing" seem quickly go in order to refute believers. Maybe this will help, maybe not!

There was a time when "flat-landers" could not comprehend the concept of a globe, a shere, a planet that revolved around the sun, versus a sun that rose each morning; let alone, the idea of relative motion that prevented their awareness of that sphere and everything on it, spinning at roughly 1000 mph; and, that it was simultaneously orbiting around the Sun at 67,000 mph!

Is there such a dimension as referenced throughout scripture, though deeply shadowed it clearly portrays such as a place as I will attempt to imagine. The writer surely had less science behind his understanding, yet likley a richer discernment given proximity to Christ's lifetime.

Are we, as Paul describes earlier, "temples of the Holy Ghost," yet once those temples perish, just like Jesus, they/we enter a heavenly sanctuary that John the Revelator could only describe using precious stones and gates of Pearl? The latter seems highly unlikely to be found as such among the millions of galaxies we now know per James Webb. Is this some figurative language, the best humans could have then comprehended, though now beautifully captured for us in the mystery and improbability of this collective Canon of scripture?

Could it be that all this allegory is soon to be tangible structures or we, being spiritual beings so unlike our earthy tabernacles, soon to be changed (I Cor. 15:50)?

Better yet, perhaps it sets right before our very eyes amidst the millions of galaxies, like the timbers of unfinished apartment complexes awaiting a day when they will be inhabited by human spirits long since departed, suddenly in new earth-like bodies, "known as we were known," and once again occuping a "new heaven and a new earth" (Revelation 21).

Think about it! Selah!

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