“For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’” (Hebrews 8:4-5).
A glaring difference between the holy Scriptures and all other religious books is its incredible foreshadowing. The words “copy” and “shadow” describe two of the stunning ways the first thirty-nine books provide a flawless foundation for the final twenty-seven.
As the penman of Hebrews explores in greater detail in chapter nine, the layout of the Old Testament priest’s workplace in the tabernacle and temple was carefully and purposefully arranged. One of its functions was to serve as a “copy”—a sketch using earthly structures and ambiance to provide a workable schema for us to understand Christ’s ministry in heaven. Just as the physical world God created was intentionally embedded with illustrations of heavenly truths, the blueprint God gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the construction of the tabernacle was also.
In addition, the Old Testament has “shadows”. It has a vast array of people, sacrifices, events, promises, and predictions which all foreshadow Christ and the better covenant He established.
The Scriptures are no accident. Among the many infallible proofs which demonstrate their divine authorship is its numerous copies and shadows.