It’s one of those BIG questions. It may be one of the most important questions that people are asking. It may be the most pressing question that followers of Jesus need to be able to dialogue about. It is a question that you can’t avoid when you read the Old Testament. It’s the proverbial elephant in the room. It serves as many people’s primary aversion and objection to faith. It is a question that has caused some to walk away from faith and others to stay away from faith.
The question is: How do you explain the difference between the God of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament?
Why does God seem angry, violent, nationalistic, and war-hungry in the Old Testament, yet Jesus seems to be all about loving your enemies, blessing those that curse you, and turning the other cheek? Why are they so different?
1. Have you ever noticed or been bothered by a difference between the way God appears in the Old Testament and the way God appears through Jesus? What was the difference? How did you respond when you noticed it?
2. When we are confronted with differences or supposed contradictions in Scripture we are confronted with the three options (listed below). Have you ever responded with any of the three? If you chose to wrestle with it how did that make you feel? Did you resolve it?
3. The writer of Hebrews claimed that Jesus had authority over the Old Testament. Does that assertion bother you? What gives him that right?
4. Do you think the New Testament authors had a better understanding of God than the Old Testament authors? Why do you think that? How does our knowledge of God compare?
5. Does it ever make sense to blame God for the actions of his people? Do we ever blame God for the sinful actions of his people today? Would God ever humble himself to the point of accepting blame for our sin?
6. If the Old Testament is the shadow of who God is and Jesus is the perfect picture of who God is, what are some things we may get wrong or misconstrue about God based upon his shadow (the Old Testament). How does Jesus clear those things up?
This Sunday we are wrapping up this series with a Q&A. Take same time and brainstorm three questions you/your group would like Pastor Trevor to answer. Have the group leader submit the questions at thecreekchurch.com/questions.