Beyond These Shadowlands


Heaven is real; earth is only temporary. This is why C. S. Lewis described life on earth as “the shadowlands."

These priests provide only a hint of what goes on in the true sanctuary of heaven, which Moses caught a glimpse of as he was about to set up the tent-shrine. It was then that God said, “Be careful to do it exactly as you saw it on the Mountain”  (Hebrews 8:5, MSG).

So often we tend to think of heaven as surreal and earth as real. In other words, our point of reference is earth. This is earth. This is real. And heaven? Well, who knows?

In truth, it’s the opposite! Heaven is what is real, earth is what is temporary. That is why C. S. Lewis described life on earth as “the shadowlands.” Earth is only a pale version of heaven, not the other way around.

God commanded Moses to build a tabernacle like the one in heaven. And in Hebrews 8:5, we read that the priests in New Testament days served in a place of worship that was only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. In fact, as Moses prepared to build the tabernacle, God gave him this warning. He said, “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain” (Hebrews 8:5, NLT).

God wanted to make it clear to Moses that the original was in heaven and the copy was on the earth. To quote C. S. Lewis again, “The hills and valleys of Heaven will be to those you now experience not as a copy is to an original, nor as the substitute is to the genuine article, but as the flower to the root, or the diamond to the coal.”

As earthbound human beings, we tend to start with earth and reason up toward heaven. What we ought to do is start with heaven and reason down toward earth. Heaven is the real deal, the eternal dwelling place. Earth is the copy, the temporary dwelling place.

When you see that sunset or that panoramic view of God’s finest expressed in nature, and the beauty just takes your breath away, remember it is just a glimpse of the real thing that awaits you in heaven.

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