Having come to the close of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) in my Scripture reading, the holiness of God has been made clear. I don’t see how you could miss it. When postmoderns in our day reject the “nonsense” of the laws and sacrifices contained within these five books, I can’t help but think that their underlying rejection is the holiness of God Himself who set these out as definitively appropriate. What we call absurd laws and statutes in our intellectually “sophisticated” society, God plainly and clearly set forth as right and true. If we reject and rebel against what He instituted, is it not Him we are rejecting ultimately, the Giver of those laws and statutes?
As I have been reading these passages this time, I have been struck by God’s absolute otherness, separateness from us. Surely He has condescended and made Himself known to us in Christ. But this in no way negates His transcendence. These five books make this abundantly clear. In order for God to be favorable toward us, a sacrifice had to take place over and over again that covered or took the place of us in punishment, pointing to the final sacrifice of Christ upon the cross for our sins who bore our punishment once and for all. When we anthropomorphize God and make Him like us (apart from how He has revealed Himself and condescened to us in Christ), we do a great disservice to the clear proclamation of His holiness in Scripture.
It is this very holiness which caused many of those holy saints in the Old Testament to fall on their faces in terror at His presence. And to think how glibly we approach Him in our worship many times. The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament. We must always keep that in mind when we read through any passage of the time during and after Christ’s life, death and resurrection.