What is God’s attitude towards his human creation today? Where is God when a toddler falls into a backyard pool and drowns? Why is a good person allowed to die tragically while bad people appear to get away with murder? Why do thousands of poor people die in “natural” disasters and the survivors left homeless? Why do we not appear to see the Hand of God in the affairs of human society today like we did in the days of the Old Testament as recorded in the Bible? Why does it appear as if God has abandoned the human race?
These are some of the questions being asked today. A great many people have discarded their belief in God because they cannot see any evidence of God’s existence in a world gone mad. However, the answer to this dilemma lies in the difference between the Old Testament (Old Covenant) and the New Testament (New Covenant).
Let’s consider the following scenario. A very rich man decided to construct a large building in which he would house marvels and wonders for the world to see. No-one – except himself and the architects and workers – was to be allowed access to the building during the construction period. The mystery of the project had to remain intact until the building was completed and officially opened to the public. A high, temporary wall was erected around the construction site with security people to guard it. Finally, the time arrived. The security wall was demolished and the day of free access to this wondrous place was announced. No longer did the world have to wait. They now could enter freely and enjoy all that was on offer inside this amazing place, that is, all those who wanted to enter.
The moment before Jesus died on the Cross, he said, “It is finished.” These words signified the end of the Old Covenant. Jesus Himself had met all the conditions of the Old Covenant on behalf of man. He had fulfilled it and by the act of His crucifixion He instituted a New Covenant between Himself (and therefore between man) and God. When He died, the massive curtain covering to entrance to the Holy of Holies was rent in two from top to bottom. Access to the Presence of God was now open to all. The High Priest of the Old Covenant became obsolete. Jesus was the new High Priest, Mediator, Surety and Advocate of the New Covenant between God and man.
From that moment onwards the ball was in man’s court. God had done all that He was going to do to save man. Jesus was sent “that He should taste death for every man”. (Heb.2:9). We were “baptized into His death”. (Rom. 6:3). This message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as contained in the New Testament spells out God’s involvement with mankind. That rent curtain opened up to us all the benefits of God’s Kingdom right here on earth. By this event we were redeemed from the Curse of the Law. We were set free from the bondage of darkness and all of its suffering and pain. It gave us free access to the throne of God to ask and receive all that we may need as His children.
God no longer sees a defeated people. His Son had conquered evil once and for all. You and I are a sweet fragrance to God in Christ. God no longer regards our sin condition. All sin had been placed on His Son and offloaded in Hell. Sickness and disease were nailed to the Cross. God had set to man only one condition to meet – and that is to believe in His Son.
And this is why it appears that God had abandoned mankind. In actual fact, it is the other way around. We are the ones who have abandoned God. God has provided the way, the truth and the life, which is Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection marked the start of God’s period of Grace upon mankind during which we have the opportunity to come to the knowledge of Salvation – Salvation from sin, eternal condemnation, poverty, sickness and disease. It’s all been taken care of. But we continue to suffer because we lack knowledge of God’s Word. God declares in His Word that, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you” Entertainment and self-satisfaction are our preferences and so we destroy ourselves.
God gave us His very own Righteousness by which we possess the ability not only to overcome all our earthly problems, but also to avoid them. All it takes is for us to get a little education on the matter. Until we get that education, God is going to do nothing further. He wants us to do it ourselves by means of the Power He has placed in our hands. We’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about God and His Word for all peoples of the planet.
Just like the rich man broke down the wall around that building so that all may enter and benefit from everything inside that building, in like manner God tore away the curtain to the Holy of Holies. In effect, God’s Spirit moved from there to a place inside of our own spirits so that all may experience His presence without fear or condemnation. God’s blessings include His protection over us and our loved ones, but if we reject God and refuse to live according to His will we should not lay the blame for personal tragedies at His feet.