This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
Illustrations are used all the time in teaching and in speeches and sermons. Illustrations can help us understand a certain topic or point.
The writer of Hebrews explains that the tabernacle of the old covenant was merely an illustration of the true tabernacle in heaven. It was intended to help God’s people understand what God planned for them. This idea has been explained in terms of shadows and copies, but now the writer is coming to the heart of the discussion.
The tabernacle was given to God’s people to help draw them closer to God. And because of their hardheartedness, God sent Jesus to show them what he really intended. Jesus came to draw us closer to God.
Yet many of the people still lost sight of who Jesus really was. The work of Christ shows that the elements of the old covenant were pointing to him and were intended to draw the people closer to God. And when Christ came, the old regulations and rules were set aside because they were merely an illustration to help God’s people understand what he planned to do. But the people did not understand. Do we sometimes get so caught up in our rules and regulations that we too lose sight of what God is doing and what he calls us to do?
Dear God, help us not to lose sight of Jesus in the ways we try to do things. Help us to serve you by following your lead, as Jesus always did. Draw us ever closer to you, Lord. Amen.
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