Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
A GLORIOUS SHADOW
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you have been made sons [if you have believed in the Son], God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:4-6)
“…[stars, signs, and special days]…are but shadows of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17)
Have you ever noticed … the sun? Of course you have, since you first opened your eyes. That star in the daytime, what we call the sun, is, without doubt, one of the few indispensable and necessary factors for all of life on earth. Its size and placement; its degree of heat and type of radiation; its character of light and its effect upon all forms of creation that we know on earth is absolutely vital. We cannot do without the sun. We thrive in its warmth. We live in its light. We long for it to appear again when the dim gray of winter closes in on our souls. Oh, how we love the sun.
But no matter how much you love it, you actually cannot look at it. Let the irony sink-in for a moment. If you look too long, more than even a fraction, its direct light will blur and soon blind your eyes. The very thing you depend upon, you cannot comfortably look upon; unless the shadow of the moon perfectly stands between you and the light of the sun. As we saw only a few days ago, only the moon can cast the shadow that lets you look directly upon the sun.
Is the total eclipse of the sun just a physics illustration? If you read the scripture verses that started this little article then you’re already pretty sure of where I’m going. The correlation is far beyond corny preacher-speak. Don’t let it be lost on you. Never in our lives before have we seen any sight in the sky or in nature so amazingly glorious than what we saw just after 10:00 am, Monday, August 21.
And yet, the most beautiful glory you have ever seen was nothing more than a glorious shadow, an illustration of this reality in our lives: You and I cannot look directly upon the fullness God. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) Because of our soul-darkness, our sin, His direct light would overwhelm and simply cancel what is dark. But He loves you, so He provides for you. And then comes the beauty. Because of His love, the fullness of God expressed His life in the perfect form (size, shape, heart, and purpose) to both cover us and reveal God’s glory to us. Jesus is the perfect moon between you and the Father.
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the heart of the Father, He has revealed and declared Him.” (John 1:18) “…God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:4-6) Look at Jesus. He is far more glorious. All you need to do is look at Him and believe.
Standing in His shadow completely amazed,