Let me teeter on the verge of heresy for a moment.
There are certain questions regarding salvation that keep coming up. I am not going to weigh in on the question of the millions who have never heard the gospel. What I am looking at today is the question of the Old Testament sacrificial system.
Most people I talk to either state or imply that the law and sacrifices could not save you from your sins and grant you eternal life. In one sense that is obvious because nothing you do through your own effort guarantees you eternal life. You cannot be saved by works. The problem comes when people equate the sacrificial system with works. This is based on the teaching of the New Testament that we are saved by grace, through faith. Jesus Himself said,
(Joh 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.Their reasoning is that Jesus had not shed His blood in the days of David and Solomon so there was no way to the Father.
The big problem with that position is that the Old Testament is constantly referring to atonement that can be had through the sacrifice in the temple. How do we put this together?
Here is where the heresy swings our direction. Look at this verse,
(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.It would seem to me since God is outside time that He could apply the blessings of the shed blood to those who lived before Jesus. In this thinking the blood of the sacrificial animals becomes a type for the death of Jesus.
Jesus died on a certain day. His death applies to all sin from that time forward. Why would it not be a possibility that it could also be applied to the past. If you read the Old Testament you will find many references to the fact that a sacrifice is pointless if it is not accompanied by faith. They may not have known the terminology but they understood the concept that blood must be shed but it was the sincerity and repentance of the heart that gave it force.
So don’t worry about Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and the rest. Jesus died for them too. They may not have known all the details but they understood that salvation came as a gracious gift from God.
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