Shadow of Good Things

(Sunday Sermon - October 8, 2023)

Promise Verse: He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered. And all of them were healthy and strong. (NIV) And all of them were healthy and strong. (GNB)  

Psalm 105:37 

Last week we saw that grace is a covenant that God made with Abraham. It was established to us through the cross of Jesus. The whole of Israelites bound themselves under God to bless them based on obedience to the commandments because of their pride. They got cursed by their words. 

(Hebrew 10:1 NIV)  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.

People made sacrifices year after year for the cleansing of sins. The sacrifices were not perfect. I bring and show you the shadow of a cell phone. Could you attend calls, use its functions? I put rice, pour sambar, then mutton gravy and show the shadow of it. Will you be satisfied by it? Can it be food for your hunger? 

Jesus in the Old covenant concealed and in the new covenant revealed. He is the key to unlocking the Old Testament.

Let us dive into the old covenant to see Jesus. God knew that the people will not be able to obey the Ten commandments. When He gave the Ten commandments, Jesus’ death on the cross was already in God’s mind. God told Moses to make an altar. An altar is the place where sacrifices were sacrificed.


(Exodus 20:24 NIV)  Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honoured, I will come to you and bless you.

Call from Debt: 

A taxi Muslim driver in Singapore fell into terrible debts that neither he nor his family were unable to pay. He wanted to commit suicide. On the road he found a bookstore and entered it. There he found a cassette tape entitled “Jesus in your family”. The title was attractive, and he bought it home. There were few songs sung in praise of Jesus. At the end, the pastor had prayed “If you are in debt, call on the name of Jesus. He will help you.” They narrated the prayer sincerely. Jesus came to our house. They did not know who Jesus was. They prayed this prayer sincerely every day. After one week there was a knock at the door. When they opened the door, there was a gigantic, beautiful figure at the doorstep. He asked them, ‘Can I come in?’ They welcomed him in. He said, “I have come because of your invitation.” They said “Sir we don’t know you nor your name. When did we invite you?” He said, “For the past one week you prayed for Jesus to come to our house.” This Jesus is me. He told them to bow down in prayer. He blessed them and disappeared. They went to a neighbourhood church and got saved. Their debts were paid off in a few days’ time. Are you in debt? He is right here to save and rescue you.

Pas. Martin’s wife’s testimony. As a school principal, a lady was sharing her problems with her. Hearing it, she said “Shall we pray for the problems?” She stood up and ran out of the room. When asked why she ran she said “when she said prayer- I saw fire coming down and could not stand in that place.” 

(Exodus 20:25)  If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

If an altar were made of stone, it was possible or even likely that attention would be drawn, and glory would be given to the stone carver. God, at His altar, wanted to share glory with no man – the beauty and attractiveness would be found only in the provision of God, not in any fleshly display.

God wants an altar not hewn by man’s hands. It is human effort. God wants to add nothing to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. If it is added, it becomes unclean and God cannot accept it.

(Exodus 20:26 NIV)  If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

God wanted no display of human flesh at His place of covering sacrifice. Steps might allow the leg of the priest to be seen. God doesn’t want to see our flesh in worship.

My friend, you cannot add to what Jesus has done. He said, “It is Finished”.

The Offerings: 

The offerings are found in the Book of Leviticus. God gave five kinds of offerings. They are burnt offering, peace offering, meal offering, sin offering and trespass offering. All these offerings point to the perfect offering of Jesus on the cross.

 The Lamb video. Finally, the lamb was slain. Why? (Romans 6:23 NIV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus has taken our sins upon Himself and given eternal life to us.

Law-keeping Failed: 

David who was close to the heart of God could not keep the law. His son, with all his wisdom, could not keep the law.

(1 Kings 3:12 NIV)   I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

Ask God for a heart of wisdom. Give us today our daily bread. Bread- all necessities of life. Bread for tomorrow. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In the new covenant (James 2:10 NIV)  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 

(Romans 3:20 NIV)  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

i.e the law is like the glucometer to show the sugar level. It will only show the readings. It won’t bring healing and deliverance from sin.

(Psalm 143:1 NIV)  Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

David pleaded for God’s mercy and faithfulness for his answers to prayers.

(Psalm 143:2 NIV)  Do not bring your servant into judgement, for no one living is righteous before you.

David had established a tabernacle where people will praise God 24-7 more than 4000 people. If you look at my righteousness, you need to kill me. David praised God three times a day, seven times and all times. He was a man after God’s heart. He did not base his prayers after all these.

(Psalm 143:6 NIV)  I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.. (Selah)

David came before God in surrender. God will fill only a thirsty and hungry person. i.e Pas. Benny Hinn in Kathryn Kuhlman’s thanksgiving meeting.

Law stirs up sin: 

(1 Corinthians 15:56 NIV)  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

Previously death had a strong weapon with which he could defeat people and that was sin. Sin is called here the sting of death. Death and sin have made an obscure alliance together. Through sin death entered the world and sin drags all men into death.

The law makes it worse, because it brings the sinful and rebellious will of man to light. After all, the law proposes nothing more than a number of rules for man to obey them, doesn’t it? And what becomes clear? That man doesn’t keep the rules, but breaks them. He is not able to keep the law, because sin works in such a powerful way. The law proves the power of sin. The letter to the Romans has made clear that there is nothing wrong with the law. It is man that is wrong.

ie breaking the thermometer when typhoid fever relapsed.

(Romans 7:7 NIV)  What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

To help you understand this, you need to realise that our human propensity to sin is aroused when a law is given. For example, imagine a group of boys walking down a street that is flanked by rows of greenhouses. None of the greenhouses pique their interest and the boys barely pay attention to them. Then, they come to one particular greenhouse that is plastered with signs that say, “Fragile glass. Do not throw stones. Trespassers will be prosecuted.” Suddenly, they stop in their tracks and start daring each other to do exactly what the signs say not to do.

Our human propensity to sin is aroused when a law is given. The next thing you hear is the sound of glass shattering and the boys hooting with laughter as they run away. Notice that this same group of boys had passed by the same type of greenhouses earlier without any incident. But once a law is introduced, their human propensity to sin is awakened. That is what the law does. It stirs up the flesh and in Paul’s words, produces “all manner of evil desire.”

(Romans 7:9 NIV)  Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

And I was once alive without the law – Without the close application of it. I had much life, wisdom, virtue, strength: so I thought. But when the commandment – That is, the law, a part put for the whole; but this expression particularly intimates its compulsive force, which restrains, enjoins, urges, forbids, threatens. Came – In its spiritual meaning, to my heart, with the power of God. Sin revived, and I died – My inbred sin took fire, and all my virtue and strength died away; and I then saw myself to be dead in sin, and liable to death eternal.

(Romans 7:10 NIV)   I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

The law of speed limits. 

The Law nailed to Cross: (Colossians 2:14 NIV)  having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

The “certificate of debt” is written in the debtor’s own hand. That is exactly what Israel had done. When the Lord gave them the law (here called “decrees”) on Mount Sinai they declared: “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8; Exodus 24:3; Exodus 24:7). Soon this declaration became their adversary. Very quickly it became clear that the conduct of their life was completely contrary to the statutes they wanted to keep. The law was an unbearable yoke (Acts 15:10 NIV)  Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?

Their debt was still more burdensome and prohibitively large to pay.

Then Christ came. He paid the debt and wiped them out. He cleared the mortgage note and tore it up. One clears something which hinders his pathway or his work. This literally means to make something disappear completely so it doesn’t matter anymore. This is what happened on the cross. There you see that it did not happen by nailing something to the cross but by nailing Someone to the cross. The same word nail comes again to point out the print of the nails which was visible in His hands after His resurrection

(Colossians 2:15 NIV)  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

You are freed from the law because you are dead. You are saved from death because you have been made alive with Christ. And you are also saved from the power of Satan and all his demons because the cross is the victory over the forces of evil. Life, liberty and victory are your portion in Christ. By going through death straight away He disarmed the one who had the power over death. He achieved victory before all eyes. The enemy is not only shut out but also humiliated.

Pastor. Rufus because Jesus disarmed the punishment of the law on the cross, is the law bad?

(Romans 7:14 NIV)  We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

(Romans 7:15 NIV)   I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

(Romans 7:24 TNIV)  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

 Notice that Paul’s cry is for a person. He asked, “…Who will deliver me from this body of death?” His answer? “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” The solution is not found in objects—the two cold and impersonal pieces of stone on which the commandments were written. It is found in the person of Jesus! You can’t have a relationship with cold pieces of stone, but you can have a relationship with the person of Jesus! Your answer is found in Christ and Christ alone! Even when you fail, His blood makes you righteous, just and good. You are perfected by His grace (unmerited favour) in your life.

(Romans 8:1 NIV)  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

(Romans 8:2 NIV) because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

Look at how Jesus gave a sinner the power to sin no more. He defended the woman who was caught in adultery. He looked tenderly into her eyes and asked her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

You see, the Ten Commandments, in all their pristine holiness, cannot make you holy and cannot put an end to sin. The power to stop sin from destroying your life comes from receiving the gift of no condemnation from Jesus. Your Savior, who has fulfilled the law on your behalf, says to you, “Where are those who condemn you? NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU. Now, go and sin no more.” This is grace, my friend. This is His unmerited favour! The law says that God will not condemn you only if you stop sinning. However, Grace says, “I have taken your condemnation on the cross. Now, you can go and sin no more.”

People are addicted to watching cinemas and corruptive stuff. Others addicted to watching porn, confess these verses daily and meditate these verses. God has perfected you by His unmerited favour.