The Cross and its Shadow

THE Saviour has many titles, for He “hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name” (Heb. 1:4) than all the angelic host of heaven. Of the many titles bestowed upon Him, there is none more dear to humanity than the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29,36) and “High Priest.” By virtue of these two offices He lifts poor fallen humanity up where they can share in His glorious kingdom of grace, even while in the midst of this sin-cursed earth.

In the typical service the one who realised he was in sinner must bring a lamb for a sin-offering. The priest could not officiate for him without this offering. (Lev. 4:27-29) That entire service was but a great kindergarten lesson, making the way of salvation so simple that none could fail to comprehend it. When we realise that we have sinned, we remember our “Lamb,” confess our sins, and in His name they are forgiven; then He officiates as High Priest in our behalf before the Father. He pleads the merits of His blood, and covers our life, stained with sin, with the robe of His spotless righteousness, and we stand before the Father “accepted in the Beloved.” Eph. 1:6) How can we fail to love Him who offered His life for us? Christ could say of His Father, “Therefore doth My Father love me, because I lay down My life.” {John 10:17) Even the infinite love of the Father for His Son was increased by that act.

In the type, the blood of the sin-offering was shed in the court, and then the priest entered the sanctuary with the blood to present it before the Lord. Heb. 9:12) The Saviour gave His life a sacrifice for sin here upon the earth; and as He entered the heavenly sanctuary as High Priest, He is called the “Forerunner.” Under no circumstances, except as He enters “within the veil” of the heavenly sanctuary, is that name applied to the Saviour. (Heb. 6:19)

In all monarchical forms of government the forerunner is a familiar character. In gorgeous uniform, with waving plumes, he rides before and announces the approach of the royal carriage. While he is always hailed with joy by the waiting crowds, yet he is not the centre of attraction; their eyes do not follow him as he passes on, but are turned down the road whence he came to get the first glimpse of the royal personage of whom he is the forerunner.

Of the many condescensions on the part of our blessed Master, this is one of the grandest. When He entered heaven a mighty Conqueror over death and the grave, before the entire heavenly host and representatives of other worlds, He entered a forerunner for us. He presented the “wave sheaf,” those brought forth from their graves at the time of His resurrection, as a sample of the race He had died to redeem, (Eph. 4:8; Matt. 27:52) thus directing the attention of that wonderful assemblage down the road whence He came to watch -- for royalty? -- yes, for royalty made so by His precious blood. (Rev 1:6; 5:10) It is only a company of poor, frail mortals stumbling along and often falling by the way; but when they reach the heavenly gate, they will enter “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:17)

It meant much for us that Christ entered within the veil as our Forerunner, for all heaven is watching the church of God on earth. When tempted by the enemy to doubt God's love and care, remember that on account of the great sacrifice made, you are so dear to the Father that “he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.” (Zech. 2:8) Heaven and earth are closely united since Christ entered within the veil as our Forerunner. The attention of every angel in glory is centred upon those striving to follow in Christ's footsteps. 1 Peter 2:21) “Are they (the angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14) Why should we falter by the way, and disappoint the heavenly host who are watching for us to come over the same road that our Forerunner passed as a mighty Conqueror over death and the grave?

But let us never forget that it is a blood-stained pathway. “Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” (1 Peter 2:23) We can not follow in His footsteps in our own strength. For that reason “in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Heb. 2:17,18; 3:1)

In the earthly sanctuary not only the high priest but also common priests officiated, because it was impossible for one man to perform all the work; but it required the work performed by all the priests in the typical services to represent the work of our High Priest. The work of one year was taken as a type of the entire work of our High Priest. During the year “the priests (plural, both high and common) went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.” This continued all the year, except one day; on that day, the service changed and “into the second (apartment) went the high priest alone, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.” (Heb. 9:6,7) These priests served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” (Heb. 8:5)

When Christ entered heaven, He went as the Antitype of the earthly service God had ordained, and entered upon His work within the first veil of the heavenly sanctuary. When the typical work ordained by God in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary had fully met its Antitype, He passed through the second veil (Heb. 9:3) into the glorious apartment of the antitypical holy of holies. There He is to perform the marvellous service which will end in the blotting out and total destruction of the sins of the righteous, nevermore to be remembered by the redeemed host nor by God Himself.

When Christ stands upon the sea of glass, and places the glittering crowns upon the heads of the company who have travelled the road made sacred by the foot prints of their Forerunner, albeit with faltering step and through falling tears, and who are, clad in robes made white in the blood of the Lamb, He will see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. (Isa. 53:11) He will rejoice over them with singing, and all heaven will ring with melody as the angels who have served under their Commander in the work of saving souls, join in singing, Zech. 3:17) “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13)


Heb. 7:25. “Is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.”
Heb. 4:15. “Is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.”Was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Heb. 2:18. “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.”
Heb. 2:17. “He is a merciful and faithful High Priest.”
Heb. 7:25. “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.”

Sign Up for our Newsletter