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Why does the Old Testament show a God of wrath and Justice but the New Testament a God of mercy?


The Bible says that He never changes. The God of the New Testament is the same as the God of the Old Testament. He is the God of Justice and as merciful in the Old Testament as He is in the New Testament. His attribute of justice demands him to be the God of wrath but his attribute of love demands to be merciful. As God he is bound by his own principals and so maintains full justice, equality in it all.

Please read Nehemiah 9 for a summary of how God mercifully forgave Israel, again and again, after they repeatedly sinned and turned their back on Him. The psalms often speak of God’s mercy poured out on sinners.

God is also as wrath-filled because of His attribute of justice demands it in the New Testament as He is in the Old. He killed a husband and wife in the Book of Acts (5), simply because they told one lie. Jesus warned that He was to be feared because He has the power to cast the body and soul into hell (Matthew23:15; Luke 12:5). The apostle Paul said that he persuaded men to come to the Savior because he knew the "terror of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:11). Read the dreadful judgments of the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. The judgment portrayed puts the "fear of God" in a searching heart, which incidentally is also as the Scriptures say, "the beginning of wisdom."

Perhaps the most fearful display of His wrath is seen in the cross of Jesus Christ. His fury so came upon the Messiah that it seems God enshrouded the face of Jesus in darkness so that creation couldn’t gaze upon His unspeakable agony. The New Testament states that our God is a consuming fire of holiness (Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24). To fulfill his justice God sent Jesus into the world so to stand in the gap between us and God. If we repent, God, in His mercy, will forgive us and grant us eternal life in heaven with Him.

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