This Week’s Ask Alice: What happened between the Old Testament and the New that changed God’s behavior?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

D.T. Asks: What happened between the Old Testament and the New that changed God’s behavior?

Alice Answers: In a word, “Jesus” happened!

It was the sacrificial death of His only Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ that resulted in the apparent change of God’s behavior towards mankind, from the Old Testament to the New.

God spent the entire Old Testament dealing with the originally sinful behavior of our first parents, Adam and Eve, and the inherited concupiscence, i.e., tendency to sin, of their descendents.

The result was many centuries of disobedient, sinful behavior, committed by human beings who were under the evil domination of Satan the devil … who was, in those days … the undisputed “Prince of This World”.

Refusing to obey God and lacking grace, they brought upon themselves certain divine chastisements (most notably death, which is the universal penalty for sin) as duly recorded in all 46 books of the Old Testament.

Fortunately: “In the fullness of time God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

Thus, the New Testament began. The foundation of these 27 books is love personified, in the fully divine and fully human Jesus Christ … the Prince of Peace and the Holy Redeemer of all mankind.

Jesus came, not to abolish the Old Testament,
but to save mankind and fulfill all the sacred Scriptures.

Throughout his earthly life, Jesus taught us how to live and love. By his saving death, Jesus destroyed Satan’s evil dominion and satisfied the debt (owed to God alone) that we could never pay, making possible the forgiveness of sins and reopening the gates of heaven.

Most importantly, Jesus obtained the sanctifying grace that we all need, in order to obtain heaven.


At the Sermon On the Mount Jesus preached the true path to righteousness (Matthew 5:3-10). He also taught us how to pray (Matthew 6: 5-14).

When Jesus, our brother, walked on earth with His disciples, it was no longer necessary for God to appear to His people in a mysterious burning bush or a column of cloud.

The risen Jesus … the Logos … the Eternal Word … the holy, perfect and authentic image of God, who is truly God himself … finally made the primeval foolishness of “idol worship” distinctly apparent to all.

“Philip saith to him: Lord, show us the Father; and it is enough for us. Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Show us the Father?” (John 14:8-9)

Jesus was not a military leader fighting battles for control and power. His Kingdom is not of this world (this present system of things) but of the world to come. Jesus taught His followers, by word and deed, precisely how the power of love would save souls and forever change our world, for good.

Shortly after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the Holy Spirit appeared (Acts 2: 1-13) and set the apostles’ hearts on fire with love.

With Satan’s evil dominion destroyed, heaven reopened, man’s redemption obtained, and Jesus suitably installed as the new and sinless head of all mankind … grace … not wrath … was the new order of the day … and it was typically no longer necessary to smote and smite the rebellious Israelites (or anyone else.)

In these grace-empowered New Testament times,
the final battle already won by Jesus Christ,
the Holy Spirit prefers to lovingly inspire, teach,
correct, and sanctify by indwelling human hearts and souls.

Instead of fighting wars, and thanks to the inspired evangelism of disciples like Saint Peter, Saint Paul and others, the Church of Jesus Christ sprouted up all around the world, soon to be “watered” by the blood of the martyrs.

Saint Stephen, “full of grace and fortitude” was the first of many holy men and women who would be faithful witnesses for their Christian faith, even in the face of imminent (and often gruesome) death. (Acts 6:8 and 7: 54-60)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*****

Related links:

The “Fine Points” of Our Redemption In Jesus Christ

Sacred Art, Statuary, and Catholics

Old Testament God = Wrath. New Testament God = Love?

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s