The God of the Old Testament is often seen as a harsh Judge and the God of the New Testament (Jesus) is viewed more often as a loving Servant. Actually God is all that He is in both the Old and New Covenants – He never changes but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Still, for those who tend to stick to the stereotypes, it may be helpful to look back to the “Mercy Seat.” It is a beautiful Old Testament picture foreshadowing Christ’s work at the cross.
The Lord prescribed the mercy seat and told Moses exactly how it was to be built. “Make a mercy seat of pure gold, 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. Make two cherubim of gold; make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat….I will meet with you there above the mercy seat'” (Exodus 25:17, 22 HCSB).
Why did He do it? Because God was just as merciful back then as He is now. He provided mercy and forgiveness as the high priest sprinkled blood representing the sins of the people each year on the mercy seat. Jesus hadn’t come yet but His provision for mercy was already in place.
As we confess our sins we might imagine them on that mercy seat of pure gold. It is there that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).