The law is just a shadow is not a new concept for most Christians as the anonymous author of Hebrews writes it.
Heb 8:5 (priests) who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things … (10:1) For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things …
Rev 8:3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
The priests also serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things. We also see in Revelation where the incense offering by the priests in the law is a copy or shadow of the prayers of the saints in Heaven before God.
Matt 18:18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Jesus also gave some indirect references of earthly things being copies.
Fountain of Living Waters (God)
(In Father’s words)
Lev 11:36 ‘Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean. … (15:13) ‘And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean.
Jer 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water.
The law states that anything unclean falling into a cistern or a spring which has plenty of water is clean. The law also states that to be cleansed they need running water (or living water that flows).
To overcome this, the Israelites built broken cisterns that make the water flow to cleanse themselves for ritual purity but they had forsaken the LORD, who is the fountain of living waters. They forgot that the ritual cleansing by running water is a shadow of heavenly things where God is the source of living waters which can cleanse them.
John 7:38-39 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Mark 1:8 “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Just as the unclean person will be ritually cleansed according to the law, Jesus will baptise us with the true living water which is the Holy Spirit, where the Father is the foundation of true living waters.
Circumcision (Removal of fat from heart)
Gen 17:10-11 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
God gave circumcision to Abraham as the sign of His covenant with him. But it’s true meaning was not only revealed in the law but also in the prophets by God Himself.
(In Father’s words)
Lev 26:41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt
Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings.”
Circumcision is the shadow of it’s true meaning, that is to remove the fat of the heart by true repentance and humbling before God.
Matt 13:15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. …. Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’
Ps 119:70 Their heart is as fat as grease, But I delight in Your law.
This is why, Jesus later quoted Isaiah 6:10 where the hearts of the people have grown dull that they cannot understand with their hearts. Psalmist also mentions this same message.
Matt 15:18-20 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Removal of fat from the heart is the true circumcision as Jesus taught in the above passage.
Tassels (Commandments of God)
(In Father’s words)
Num 15:38-40 Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.
The Father in His own words, made it extremely clear that the tassels on the corners of their garments were a symbol, a shadow of it’s true meaning, that is remembering and doing the commandments of the LORD.
Matt 23:5 “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.
This is why, Jesus criticised the scribes and Pharisees who enlarge the borders of their garments to be seen by others ignoring it’s true meaning.
Unclean foods (Devouring and dishonest gain)
(In Father’s words)
Lev 11:4 ‘Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; …. (20-23 ) All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you. …. (46-47) ‘This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.’ ”
Ezek 22:25-27 “The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain.
God gave kosher foods to distinguish between what is clean and unclean. These kosher foods were a shadow of its true meaning, that is, not to take dishonest gain from others making others poor.
Matt 23:24-26 “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
This is exactly what Jesus said about kosher foods giving gnat and camel as examples: Both gnat and camel are unclean and are not kosher. The Pharisees were so strict in filtering out the tiny gnat from their drinks yet their heart is full of extortion and self-indulgences which is like swallowing a camel.
(In Father’s words)
Hag 2:11-14 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying, “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?” Then the priests answered and said, “No.” And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?” So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.” Then Haggai answered and said, “ ‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
The law is a shadow but it must lead people to its true meaning of being clean, being holy and righteous.
Matt 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matt 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
The law is perfectly valid for all Jews who must obey them, doing the shadow of things until the heavens and the earth are no more. But Christ’s words are for all nations who came as a light to the gentiles, which contains the true meaning of the ritual laws and His words will never pass away.