Have you ever read parts of the Old Testament and thought that some of God’s commands and judgements seemed a bit – harsh? Take the story of Joshua conquering the Promised Land for example.
In Joshua chapter 6, we read God commanding the army of Israel to eliminate the people of Jericho – everyone except for Rahab, the prostitute, and her family because she had faith in the One True God of Israel.
For many Christians, this is a very disturbing command coming from the God of mercy and love that we read about in the New Testament. So how can we understand these harsh judgements written about in the ancient times?
The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is in the way God dealt with sin. You see, when God commanded the Israeli army to eliminate the people of Jericho, He was ridding the land of evil. He was dealing with the people’s sin. And sin, whether in the Old or New Testament, deserves death.
So how do we account for seemingly different responses to sin in the Old and New Testament?
The answer is Jesus. The New Testament is all about Jesus who paid the penalty for our sins. Jesus died on the cross – in our place, for our sins. You see, the consequence of sin is the same. It is always death. The difference is Jesus, taking our place. And when we choose to believe in Jesus Christ, God cleanses us of our past, our baggage, our mistakes, and our sins.
God is the same. His judgment of sin is the same – but thanks to Jesus, God gives us a way to be forgiven from our sins. Today, you can be sure that your past is forgiven, your life secure, and your eternity guaranteed – all because of Jesus. And it starts when you put your trust and faith in Him. What an incredible gift!