Jesus taught that all of the Scripture points to Him (see Luke 24:25-27 and John 5:37-40). I picture the words of the text as a great spotlight, shining a brilliant beam of illumination on the Lord, the Holy One from Father God. They serve to remind us over and over again where we should keep our eyes and attention focused.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
– Hebrews 12:1-2
But there are some passages of Scripture that are difficult to understand. Some are simply mysteries that we cannot understand and on which there is much disagreement. Wherever I encounter these passages, I see the shadow of the Lord. He is illuminated by the Scripture, which testifies about Him as a whole. That bright light upon Him casts a shadow, and in this shadow dwell all the things about Him that we do not fully understand.
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
– 1 Corinthians 13:12
When I encounter these “shadows” in Scripture, instead of peering into the darkness and trying to figure out what is there, I am learning instead to ask “What is casting this shadow?” and then turning to see the Lord. And when I see His face, I am reminded that I am fully known and am coming to know Him more and more as time goes by, I am awakening to more and more of who He is and who I am in Him and who He is in me, and I am confident that some day I will know fully.
But for today, it is enough simply to know Christ, my Lord — even on those days when all I can see of Him is His shadow.
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 3:7-14