Shadows are funny things. They shift and change with the angle of the light. Sometimes they make you look tall and skinny. Other times they make you look short and fat. But, we all recognize that they are simply shadows of the real thing. If it is our shadow, we know our real size. If it is the shadow of a tree, we know the real tree by looking not at the shadow but at the tree. They aren’t the real things, only shadows. 
The law, that the author of Hebrews was working hard to keep his readers from turning back to, was but a shadow of the real thing. This whole letter is written with the intent of helping people to stick with their faith, to not deny Christ so that they may receive their reward. The choice to turn back wasn’t just turning back to an alternative, it was actually a choice to turn back to something that had been emptied of its power. 
The old covenant did have meaning and power before Christ. It was the law of God’s people. It was the agreement the Israelites and Moses made with God about how they were going to think, speak and act in response to God bringing them out of slavery and leading them into the land that was promised to Abraham. Regardless of the countless times that the people broke it, it was still an incredibly meaningful covenant. 
But the whole purpose of that covenant was to point people to the real covenant God had in mind for his people from he the beginning. The one where He is their God and they are His people. The one where God dwells in the city with His people. That was the original design. That is what we read about in Revelation. The first covenant was important, but it could not take us all the way to the end. 
So, Jesus comes and with his willful offering of himself as a sacrifice, he fulfills the old covenant. Which, the author is going to argue, makes the old covenant obsolete. He sets aside the first to establish the second. That’s a big deal to people who are turning back to an old, obsolete covenant. 
Last week, we talked about phones and how we tend to stick with what we know even when the new thing is better suited for our needs. To carry on that illustration, what the people were doing wasn’t just using an old outdated phone. Instead the line had been cut entirely. 
Remember about 10 years ago when the government decided to transition the country from the analogue over the air TV signal to the digital version? Channels had been broadcasting on both for a while. Eventually the government pushed us all over the line. Everyone needed to be converted to the digital signal because on a certain date, the old signal would be cut off. The date got pushed back three times, but finally on June 12, 2009, full-power analog TV broadcasts were required to be shut off. 
Now that it’s been 10 years since that transition took place, there is for sure nothing being broadcast on those channels. At least not legally. The government sold rights to those frequencies to cell phone companies and other companies who wanted to use those airwaves. If you go back to try to find something on the analog broadcast, there’s nothing there. 
It’s the same with the old covenant. The signal has been cut off. There’s literally nothing there. There’s absolutely no reason to go back to it. Going back to that is going back to nothing. 
Instead, Jesus came to do the will of the Father. He came to offer his life as the ultimate sacrifice for sins. Not one that would be repeated endlessly year after year, but it would be offered up one time for all people. Under the old covenant everyone had to bring some kind of sacrifice to atone for themselves. But, with Jesus, his sacrifice isn’t just eternal in length, it’s also eternal in breadth. His sacrifice is good for anyone who chooses it. 
Jesus, by receiving the body that was prepared for him, the spoken word of God became a human being, in doing this thing, Jesus sets aside the first to establish the second. 
You can try to go back if you choose. You can try to scan the old analog channels. But there’s nothing there. Don’t waste your time. Only In Christ is the fulness of life. 

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