While listening to a sermon at church on Sunday the guy said something along the lines of "Before the cross, God couldn't relate to humans because of their sin" and then quoted 1 John1: 5 "God is light and in him is no darkness at all".
This is all stuff I've heard many times before from Christians and is pretty standard theology but then it hit me, if this was an absolute "God cannot relate to humans who sin unless a price was paid" then it was blatantly false because God clearly related to humans in the Old Testament before any substitution had occurred in much the same way as after.
I've asked about at church and a few people who I've thought were pretty clued up but I'm getting replies like "Well Jesus replaced animal sacrifices" which to me, don't cut it. I mean, I'd rather make animal sacrifices forever than see God have his own son crucified.
My questions are as follows :-
If God couldn't relate to humans without Jesus dying then why did he love and communicate with humans in the old testament?
What, fundamentally is the difference between pre-cross and post-cross in terms of the state of the world?
Is it possible that the effects of the cross were in place before the event even took place?
If the cross was not as a substition for man's sin (a theory I'm having difficulty with) then what purpose did it serve?
I'd love to hear you guys n gals answers because I'm struggling with this one. Thankyou!