How did people get saved before Jesus was crucified?


How did people get saved before Jesus was crucified?


Prior to Jesus, people were expected to live in obedience to God.

"For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them" (Romans 2:12-15).

Of course, no one is able to keep the law perfectly (Romans 3:23). But God offered forgiveness to those who sought to please Him and keep His teachings. For instance, those under the Law were expected to offer sacrifices when they sinned (e.g. Leviticus 4:20). Those animal sacrifices were not adequate to truly forgive sins (Hebrews 10:1-4), but God offered forgiveness until the proper sacrifice could be made.

"For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15).

Jesus' death was not just for future sins but also covered the sins committed under the prior covenant so that those forgiven then can also inherit eternal life. Thus, a single sacrifice was offered for the forgiveness of all sin -- past and future.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email