“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.”
Imagine yourself at the corner of a building with the building on your left shoulder. You can see to the right and ahead, but you cannot see around the corner. The sun is also to your left and so you are not casting a shadow because the building is blocking the sun. All of a sudden you see a shadow in front of you. Someone is coming alongside the building but you can’t see them, only the shadow. The shadow takes the form of a head and then shoulders. You know it is a person but you know little else. Inch by inch, the person’s form is revealed but not the person. You may be able to conclude the approximate height or even the sex of the person but you don’t know the color of their hair or eyes. A shadow offers clues to the form of the substance but it can never reveal the real substance.
In this verse, the law is a shadow and because it is only a shadow, it does not show the true form or the true form’s realities. Since it is a shadow of the form and not the form it cannot do what the true form can do. The author is speaking in regard to the sacrifices offered under the law. The very fact that they had to be offered each year proves that they were unable to bring perfection to those who sought that perfection.
Task for Today: Make no mistake, the true from did arrive, right behind the shadow as expected. It came as the Son of God. Today, if you want that perfection, go to Him for the perfect sacrifice. Accept His act on your behalf. Acknowledge Him as Lord.