You need to accept guilt and sickness before you can accept forgiveness and healing. Personally, I think God took on the image of a harsh judge to convict the world of their problems so that they could accept the forgiveness and healing that came through the Incarnation. Anyhoo, I find it kind of funny how people emphasize the hard teachings of the OT so much but ignore those of the New. It wasn't until the New Testament that the concept of Hell, eternal fire and being persecuted and martyred for Christ's sake was introduced. In the Old Testament, God actually seemed like an okay guy. Harsh? Sure. But, if you lived by His words, things usually went well, and if you disobeyed Him, you only suffered in this life for it. But in the New Testament, we get down to the condition of the soul and eternal suffering, combined with some really hard moral expectations to adhere to.