The Old Testament is depressing. People dying, betrayed, lost, God’s angry… it is hard to read if you aren’t in Psalms or Songs of Solomon. And every time you do, you gain a new understanding for the depravity of man.
I am always reminded how I don’t measure up when I read it. It is full of “Thou shall not” and rules I can’t hold up. To be honest, it makes me feel a little hopeless. As a Christian, I spend most of my time in the New Testament where God’s tone is the polar opposite- God’s message is positive in the New Testament!
Is God bipolar? Does God contradict himself? Noooo sillies! God’s tone did a 180 because of Jesus! A holy God couldn’t relate to an adulterous people because there is no darkness in him (1 John 1:5). Jesus made a way though, so that when father God looks at me, he sees all the righteousness Jesus has because I have “put on” Jesus like a robe (it is super luxurious BTW). Galatians 3:26-27 says “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
In the New Testament, Jesus focuses on what we should do versus what we shouldn’t do. Don’t get me wrong, he does list a lot of no-no’s but it is only to help you have a better idea of what is right. Jesus’ emphasis is on the can, which is a lot easier to fulfill than the “thou shalt not’s”.
If I said, “Don’t think about a naked butt,” you will instantly picture a naked butt in your mind whether you are a man or woman. But if I say, “Picture a flower,” your favorite flower is likely to pop into your head and it doesn’t make you feel dirty.
Anyway, the whole point of this little monologue is to highlight a characteristic of the Bible that may escape us as post-Christ people. Things really sucked before Jesus came, everyone was waiting around for Christ to come in dismal states. They had to follow a bunch of rules perfectly, and they just couldn’t. They didn’t have the Holy Spirit to help them or grace to pick them up when they failed. If you ever have the chance to talk to a Messianic Jew about this, you’ll have a whole new perspective.
We are blessed to be living on the A.D. side of history, don’t ever forget that.