The first (or old) testament points to Jesus in the new testament, while the new testament and life today point to eternity.
Everything before Jesus points to him. Jesus was the perfect representation of the Father. The old testament was a shadow of what was to come in Jesus Christ. Jesus was the fulfillment of the old testament. The shadow was incomplete. You cannot understand Leviticus without Hebrews, or Daniel without Revelation, or the Passover, or Isaiah 53 without the Gospel account of the crucifixion. Jesus himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17
1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins” Hebrews 10:1-2
If I were to come around a building with the sun to my back, you would be able to see my shadow coming. You would be able to ascertain certain things about me. You could see if I was tall or short, fat or thin, if I had long hair or short hair, there would be many things that you could get a glimpse of by the shadow that was arriving around the building before me. However, once I appeared, you wouldn’t need my shadow to determine how I look, you would have the real thing standing in front of you. The same is true for Christ. The Law gave an outline of what Christ would be, but it merely served as a shadow to the real thing. Once Christ came, there is no need for the shadow. It is ridiculous to pay more attention to the shadow than the person. Juli Camarin
A “shadow” necessitates and comes before a reality. Jesus Christ and God’s plan for man’s redemption existed before the world began. Though we see that Man and that plan in the New Testament, their shadow falls backward (in time) across all the people and events of the Old Testament. In another way, it is like God wrote a great “mystery story”, and only when we reach the end to find out “whodunit” can we see how all the clues pointed to it in the earlier chapters of the book.
The author or Hebrews wrote, “First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin” Hebrews 10:8-18.
You can learn a lot about a thing from it’s shadow, but you can’t learn everything. And, when the shadow caster shows up the shadow is of far less consequence. Not because the shadow was incorrect, but because the shadow was incomplete. “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” Colossians 2:17. The disciples and all in the first century had grown up on the shadow. Jesus is the perfect representation of God the Father. Jesus came to point us to the Father. Andy Stanley
How amazing would it have been to be walking with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35 as Jesus, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (v. 27). I would love to have a sit down with those guys!!