People say the old testament is the new testament concealed and the new testament is the old testament revealed. Reading through the letters of the Apostles, you would realize that everything they said was hinted at in the old testament. The manifestation of Jesus uncovered the scriptures. All of the old testament became revealed in the new testament, starting from the birth of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 20 shows us how terrified the people of Israel were to approach God or even hear His voice. They would rather Moses did all the approaching and talking and then come back to tell them what God had said. But in Hebrews 4:16 scripture tells us “Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
There is a difference. In the former scenario, we see people terrified of approaching God. In the latter, we are told to approach him boldly, and confidently, to obtain mercy. Between those two cases, something has gone in between.
“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”Exodus 20:18-19 NIV
Jesus made that difference. His sacrifice of atonement has made us worthy and less terrified to approach God. It has reconciled us to the Father, whereby we have the initial relationship God had with mankind; a Father-son relationship. Adam initially was not afraid of God’s presence. It was very normal for God to come down and spend time with him. They related on a friendly level. However, the very day he sinned, he began to fear God’s presence. And until the completion of the works of Christ, this remained the case.
The presence of God was never designed to be terrifying, at least not for His children. Sin brought about fear but Jesus made the difference. The reason we are no longer afraid of God’s presence is that Jesus has removed the guilt, shame, and fear that sin brings. He has displayed to us, the endless and immeasurable love God has for us, through His sacrifice. Scripture tells us that perfect love casts out fear.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18
Jesus Christ justified us and placed us in right standing with God. He has given us that confidence by which we can approach the throne of grace. (Rom. 3:24)
Furthermore, living a life that pleases God has become more natural than it was then. Many people believed they had to work hard to please God so He could love them. This put them on the edge and under a lot of pressure. Eventually, this would wear them out and make them falter. A few people understood that this was not the way to make things work. Although Jesus was not born when David was alive, he knew Jesus. David understood that his own hard work to please God could only get him so far. He knew that he didn’t have to please God to be loved. He pleased God because he knew he was loved.
Jesus Christ brought us that understanding as well. He helped us to see that God loves us so much that He has shown us mercy and empowered us with His grace so that we can live more godly lives (Jhn.3:16; Tit. 2:11-12). He helped us to understand the richness of God’s love towards us and how abundant His goodness is. It is that goodness that leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Paul could make this statement after experiencing the goodness of God for himself.
The men of old longed to live under the covenant that we now live in (Heb.8:6-13). The covenant of grace was brought to us through Jesus. Jesus showed us that God was not interested in religion or eye service. He showed us that He is interested in a relationship with us, one that is not bound by time but lasts till eternity.
Jesus also differentiated us from the world. He assures us of eternal life in place of eternal perish (Jhn.10: 28-30). He assures of divine health in place of sicknesses. He assures of peace in a troubled world. Jesus makes the difference. But for Him to make this difference, you have to let Him be the Lord of your life. For you to experience the nearness of God you have to be justified through Jesus. If you are interested in doing so please say this prayer:
Dear Jesus I thank you for your love. I thank you for dying for my sake. Today I submit to you and accept your life as mine. I am yours now, forever and always. Amen.