Updated: Aug 21, 2020
I recently posted a short article about shadows. The word shadow(s) is often used in the KJV to describe an object in outline and non-specific form or shading. The law, and its sacrifices, were merely a shadow of the true sacrifice to come: Christ. The law is not the true object, Christ is.
Another word used in the context of law, vis-a-vis Christ, is pattern(s): “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Hebrews 9:23). The sacrifices under the law were a pattern of the actual. So, how does pattern differ from shadow?
A cast shadow merely outlines the actual object; a patten speaks of repetition and duplication. Unlike a shadow, a pattern indicates multiplication, a making of something, according to the plan, the pattern. “…See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5).
I have patterns in the wood shop; by using them, I can reproduce an object that’s exactly the same as the pattern. If my tool strays away from the pattern (operator error), I usually have ruined the piece and have to start over. My wife has patterns for fabric / clothing; using them she can make exact duplicates. And, we all have a pattern for our lives, our manners, and our conversation: Jesus. We can follow the pattern (learn of him, love him) and be replicas: Christians. The closer we stay to the pattern, the better the product will be!
God didn't tell Moses to replicate a shadow, for a shadow is vague and lacking dimensions; He said, “pattern.” And one last thought: we have this KJV Bible, including the grammar, as a pattern for life: exactness and details! I feel sorry for those who only have a shadow (the modern, watered-down versions). Looking forward to our KJV conference in October: exactness and details. I pray we can help others move from a shadow (“the bible is a great classic book”) to a pattern (“the Bible is the very word of God”).