Have you ever wondered how God could be so cruel and merciless in the Old Testament, and yet, so loving and merciful in the New Testament? At a fast glance, it could seem like the Bible was written by two gods. Am I right?
In January, I started to read the Bible again. It’s been my annual routine for 23 years. Sometimes 2-3 times a year. There is no greater way to hear from God, than to read His living book.
This time, I’ve really noticed God’s judgment in the Old Testament. Of course, it’s hard to miss. But, as the modern Church has spread God’s message of grace, judgement has become increasingly difficult to accept.
How can a judgmental God from Old Testament be the same loving God we see in the New Testament? Here are my answers.
God is perfect love. God is also perfect justice.
- Love and justice.
- When God made Adam and Eve, He gave them one commandment.
- They broke that one commandment. They sinned, and became sinful.
Sin raised a barricade between God and people.
- Because God is justice, He can’t offer pardons without penalties, even though He loves.
- So there they were, separated from fellowship with the creator.
- They couldn’t come close to God, without being destroyed.
Justice demanded judgment and a penalty.
- God was reaching out, and we were reaching back, but the barricade was there.
- God longed to give us mercy. He wanted to be near us.
- But, how would God reach us?
- He had a plan.
- God promised that He would come to earth as one of us, and that HE would satisfy His perfect justice by suffering the full penalty of our sins.
- This is what He did.
Jesus came here, lived sinless, was crucified, not for His own sins, but for the sins of the world.
- Now God offers unearned grace to everyone in the world who will accept His pardon.
- He gives mercy and forgiveness to all who enter into a relationship with Him, though Jesus.
- How can He do this?
- Because love satisfied the stern demands of justice!
The Old Testament is an illustration of life, before there was a savior.
- Every judgment of God is justified, because without God’s salvation, every person is filled with sin.
- The Old Testament is a perpetual reminder of mans helplessness.
- The New Testament, with its Gospels about Jesus, is an announcement that should evoke gratitude and thrill like nothing else.
This is why we make such a big deal about Easter!
- The crucifixion of Jesus is more beautiful than anyone will ever comprehend.
- Today, we take God’s grace for granted.
- Don’t do that.
- Read the Old Testament and learn about God’s perfect righteousness, and His justice.
- Read the New testament and learn about God’s perfect love.
Live a life that is worthy of what Jesus did for you.
What are you waiting for? Return to your God! Commit yourself in love, in justice! Wait for your God, and don’t give up on him—ever! (Hosea 12:6 MSG)
As you can see, the Bible was written by one author, The Author Of Life. It is one beautiful message about creation of mankind and our fall into sin. It is about justice, and sacrifice, and love, and grace!
Questions: How have you experienced God’s love and grace? How are you making it count in your every day life? Leave a comment.
Image by: Sheila Lee