Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. Hebrews 8:1–2
The point of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came not just to fit into the earthly system of priestly ministry as the best and final human priest but to fulfill and put an end to that system and to orient all our attention on himself, ministering for us first on Calvary as our final sacrifice and then in heaven as our final priest. The Old Testament tabernacle and priests and sacrifices were shadows. Now the reality has come, and the shadows pass away.
Here’s an Advent illustration for kids—and those of us who used to be kids and remember what it was like. Suppose you and your mom get separated in the grocery store, and you start to get scared and panic and don’t know which way to go, and you run to the end of an aisle, and just before you start to cry, you see a shadow on the floor at the end of the aisle that looks just like your mom. It makes you really hopeful. But which is better? The hopefulness of seeing the shadow, or having your mom actually step around the corner?
That’s the way it is when Jesus comes to be our high priest. That’s what Christmas is. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing: Mom stepping around the corner of the aisle and all the relief and joy that gives to a little child.
Good News of Great Joy: 25 Devotional Readings for Advent by Desiring God Foundation