Relationship with God: Old Testament to Jesus dying

As I deepen my understanding and question my faith, I have learnt more about the bridge between God and man. Some of the fundamentals of Christianity is that Jesus died on the cross and rose again to save us. However, I truly wanted to know:

Why did Jesus need to die on the cross for us to have a relationship with God? How did the people in the old testament have a relationship with him? Why could we not carry on this way? Why did those people sacrifice animals ?

Even though I feel I don’t fully understand and I know that God wants us to believe without knowing all the answers, as this will help us to trust him and let him have control over our lives, I will explain what I have understood.

Let’s go back to the beginning of creation: God created man in his image as perfect, sinless humans. So that Adam and Eve could have freedom, and to see if they would believe and trust God, there was the tree of knowledge,where Adam and Eve wasn’t allowed to eat the fruit from this tree. However, they were tempted and believed lies and therefore they disobeyed God and ate from this tree.

That was the end of God-human perfect relationship. The fall.

They had sinned and disobeyed God. They had to be punished. God is a judge. Sometimes we don’t want to hear this or we think he is a loving, caring God. He is but we have to face the consequences of our mistakes. For example, if a murder had killed someone, the judge wouldn’t let them off because they were a loving, forgiving person. They had still committed the crime so they would have to go through the punishment. It is the same with God, he could not just sweep our sins under the carpet. God has to deal with injustice of sin.

Humanity had done wrong and therefore could not have a close relationship with God. In the old testament, instead of people sacrificing their whole lives to apologise for their sin, they would slaughter an animal. God loved the animals but people sacrificed a lamb to demonstrate how sin hurts the innocent.

We could not carry on this way as God wanted to demonstrate his unselfishness as Satan accused him of being a self-serving judge. Therefore, God decided to send himself in human form as God could not die himself. This was Jesus. On the cross, he accepted the sin of man against Himself. As a perfectly innocent man, he accepted the injustice of man against man. Jesus died a horrendous death on the cross, first being beaten and abused then having nails punched through parts of his body. He was hung on a cross to death.

The death of Christ accomplishes reconciliation, or reconnecting us back to God. As sinners, we transgress God’s perfect law and have no legal right to exist. But God himself who sits as Judge accepts the hurt, pays the price, forgives, and offers mercy.God loves us which means we can receive the salvation of the cross.

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

This means that peace with God, eternal life, and a glorious future are ours through the sacrifice of Jesus. We may never fully understand it, but we experience the peace, love, and joy that flow from the cross.

Jesus is that bridge between God and humans. We can now confess our sins and God will remove this sin as Jesus took all our sin on the cross as a sacrifice. As we receive this salvation, we will seek forgiveness from those we have wronged and live a life of love by His power.

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