Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent, that the Lord set up, not man. . . . They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews 8:1–2, 5
We’ve seen it before. But there’s more. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.
Hebrews 8:1–2, 5 is a kind of summary statement. The point is that the one priest who goes between us and God and makes us right with God and prays for us to God is not an ordinary, weak, sinful, dying priest as in the Old Testament days. He is the Son of God—strong, sinless, with an indestructible life.
Not only that, but he is not ministering in an earthly tabernacle, with all its limitations of place and size, that gets worn out and moth-eaten and soaked and burned and torn and stolen. No, Hebrews 8:2 says that Christ is ministering for us in a “true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” This is not the shadow. It’s the real thing in heaven. This is the reality that cast a shadow on Mount Sinai for Moses to copy.
According to Hebrews 8:1, another great thing about the reality which is greater than the shadow is that our high priest is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. No Old Testament priest could ever say that.
Jesus deals directly with God the Father. He has a place of honor beside God. He is loved and respected infinitely by God. He is constantly with God. This is not shadow reality like curtains and bowls and tables and candles and robes and tassels and sheep and goats and pigeons. This is final, ultimate reality: God and his Son interacting in love and holiness for our eternal salvation.
Ultimate reality is the persons of the Godhead in relationship, dealing with each other concerning how their majesty and holiness and love and justice and goodness and truth shall be manifest in a redeemed people.
Good News of Great Joy: 25 Devotional Readings for Advent by Desiring God Foundation