by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta
The legend of Groundhog Day tells us if this furry little creature
comes out of hibernation and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of
winter. No shadow means an early spring. Spring brings to mind new life as
trees and flowers bloom and animals give birth to young. We hope for relief
from the bitterness of winter. But this observance is merely tradition. How
many times is the groundhog wrong? His shadow doesn’t represent the truth of the
Groundhog Day Can Teach Us Not To Rely On Shadows For Truth.
A shadow is formed when light is blocked. When all we can see is a shadow, the true representation of the original object or person is not shown. If all we saw was the dark image of the groundhog, we might think this shadow represented something else.
When I was a child, my brothers and I always enjoyed the
home movies my dad would take of us. When it was time to view them, he would
get out the 8mm projector and put up the screen. Before the film started, we
would stand in front of the light and form shapes with our hands on the screen.
Those who are experienced at this skill can produce the
image of animals or other objects with their hands. Without knowing the source
of the shadow, those viewing the shapes could be misled to trust the shadow
rather than the truth. What looks like an animal is really something else.
Biblical Significance of Shadows
In the Old Testament, God instituted festivals and certain
sabbaths for the Israelites to remember God and His promises. Those promises
pointed to the Redeemer who would fulfill all the Law that was given. Over the
centuries, the reason for those celebrations was forgotten and the festivals
became a ritual with no meaning. They were merely a shadow of things to come,
not the real deal.
When Jesus came, Paul had to keep explaining to the Jews who
had become believers in Jesus that they no longer needed to observe those
festivals for godly approval. Jesus was the fulfillment. They had learned to
trust the shadow instead of the Source.
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding
a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but
the substances is of Christ (Colossians
The revelation of God’s grace through Jesus shone the light
upon the Law and Prophets. The Law could not release people from the darkness
that was in their souls because it was based on performance.
Christ Eliminates Shadows
We can still forget this today. The darkness of shadows prevents us from seeing the clear picture. If we try to please God with our
good works instead of coming to Him by faith in what Jesus did, we place a
shadow on grace and look back to the law of performance. When we do this we
aren’t seeing Jesus clearly.
Jesus casts no shadow because He is the Light. There is no darkness in Him or around Him.
This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to
you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
He is the gift of light and life.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down
from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17).
Watching the groundhog can remind us not to rely on religious shadows. Because religious shadows don’t portray the truth of Scripture.
Knowing and living in Christ's identity removes the darkness of meaningless tradition from our lives when we allow Him
to shine in our souls.
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