A former art student, I used to hate the planning process. Our professor would give us an assignment for some design project, a logo for an imaginary company or an advertisement layout, and it would be my first impulse to jump straight to work itself. I would open a new document and go at it.
My professors, in their wisdom, knew this was the inclination of most aspiring artists. Before jumping into the work, they would require a series of thumbnail sketches to help us conceptualize where we were headed. Begrudgingly, I obliged, still choking on the excitement of getting to the master work I would produce.
The language of Hebrews 10 portrays precisely the same picture:
” A shadow, σκια, signifies technically, a sketch, rude plan, or imperfect draught of a building, landscape, man, beast, etc.”
The law was simply God’s outline, his first stroke in a masterpiece of grace and blessing. The law was completely necessary to a) foreshadow the work of Christ and b) contrast for us the riches that are ours in Him.
In the masterpiece of the Gospel we have:
– Confidence to enter the Holy of Holies
– A permanent mediator interceding for us
– Full assurance of faith
– Hearts and bodies cleansed from the effects of sin
In drawing studio our professor would bemoan the “sketchiness” of our drawings. Many of us took the safe route of drawing lines one hash mark at a time. It was safe because we had complete control over the destiny of the line, we knew where it was going precisely one dash at a time. Pushing us to abandon this method completely, our teacher would stand in front of the white board, take one glance at a still life, and with a rush of his arm, throw down thick white bold lines. He called this “letting the line live.” The effect was a noticeably more confident and vivacious rendering than our hesitant attempts.
In Christ, I am coming to a realization that I can let the lines of my faith live because I’m taking a class that I can’t fail. My grade isn’t dependent on my performance but on the completed masterpiece of the Teacher. With that kind of security, I am free to minister to others and encourage them onto good works. Let loose from the fear or failure, I am free to live and be a light to others.