Many, if not most people find the Old Covenant difficult to understand. We really shouldn’t have that much trouble with it. In fact, the Old Covenant should have a special appeal for us? Why? Because the Old Covenant is based completely on performance. Most people, atheists especially, fancy themselves to be really good people, top performers, people who God should be thrilled to have in heaven. In the Old Covenant, God gave us exactly what we want. “Judge me by how good I am.” Of course, we want the standard of goodness to be set by us, by ourselves, by ME. That way I can judge you by your behaviours while I judge myself by my intentions.
Sadly, what people don’t get is that if you want to be accepted on the basis of performance, your performance has to be perfect even as God in heaven is perfect. Phrases such as "Fat Chance," and "Good luck with that," are appropriate here.
Thankfully, God has provided a means for our salvation that is based on His mercy. Our acceptance is based upon God’s Grace which is triggered by our faith in what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. Now of course Grace is a scandalous concept to those who see themselves as better than others. Atheists in particular are outraged that anyone, Did You Hear That? ANYONE! can be saved by Grace. Atheists love to punish and each and every one of them have at least one person in mind, who they believe doesn't deserve to be forgiven.
We are currently living in the age of Grace. All who admit they are sinners, all who are willing to humble themselves and repent of their sins can be forgiven. But that’s the problem - isn’t it? Grace, implies the presence of sin. Grace implies the acceptance for a NEED for grace. Where there is no admission of sin, there is no Grace available. And that is what atheists cannot tolerate. For if they admit to a need for Grace they are also admitting that they are in fact not good people without God. Without self-honesty there is simply no way of being accepted.