An expert violinist can demonstrate mastery over an instrument that soothes the mind, stirs emotions, and stimulates the heart. However, three beginners all learning a violin at the same time, from the same instructor, in a small room is the complete opposite. In fact, I may call that a torture tactic. As a middle school boy, this was my exact experience as my dad, my brother, and I all received free instruction from a violinist who lived in the nursing home where we often volunteered.
I still can’t play the violin, but I did get to keep one of the instruments the instructor gave to me. I forgot that I had it until a move required me to clear out from under the bed. That was when I discovered the old and dusty violin case. Curiosity led me to analyze the label and I found the label that read “Stradivarius” to sound familiar. A quick web search led to exhilaration when I noticed a recent violin with this name auctioned for nearly $16 million dollars. How could I spend this much money? What an amazing discovery!
A closer investigation of the violin showed a very small script on the label that read, “copy”. While the violin is not completely worthless it is certainly not as valuable as the rare Stradivarius. In fact, I have simply a shadow, or a copy, of the real thing. It looks like the real thing but serves only as a reminder or representation of what could, or should be.
Keep this image in mind and consider what Hebrews 10 teaches us about the ancient and ritualistic sacrificial system of the Old Testament. It served only as a shadow or copy. It was intended to represent the real hope of freedom found in Christ. Yet many put their hope in the acts of sacrifice and failed to place their heart in the peace of God. 1 Samuel 15 is one of many examples where we see this in the Old Testament.
This failure of faith is not exclusive to the times and people of the Old Testament. It carried through to the Pharisees of the New Testament and the legalists rebuked by Paul in Galatians. It continues today in the many that trust in rituals, religion, or eloquent preachers.
Our only hope is in Christ and in Him alone. It is His sacrifice and blood that sanctifies us and gives us freedom. People will let you down. Religion will let you down. Rituals will run out of satisfaction. Only Jesus can save and satisfy you. Open your heart to Him and trust Him today.
Imagine how disappointed I would be had I trusted my future on the investment of a replica violin. Had I convinced myself that it was actually worth millions I would be sorely disappointed. Similarly, many put false hope in a pastor who lets them down, in a church that fractures, or in a religious ritual that only satisfies temporarily. Confess of that and repent today. If you’d like to learn more about Jesus and how He can change your life, check out this helpful link: https://calvaryga.com/hope/