3. Effectiveness of the New Covenant on the People of the Old Testament
Some people think that the salvation of Israelites has been completed by keeping the old covenant. But the apostles taught that it was not true. The apostles thought that Jesus Christ came to complete the salvation of the Israelites. In other words, the salvation of the Old Testament Israelites was not completed until Jesus came.
【John 1:29-31】 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John the Baptist said, “Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” and “The reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” What does it mean by the sin of the world? Here, the sin of the world refers to the sin of Israelites who have kept the old covenant. The world that God loves cannot be confined to the New Testament world.(John 3:16) Because there was not the forgiveness of sins through the blood of the beast in the age of the Old Testament.
The sin of the world that Jesus took away includes the sin of the Old Testament people who had died before Christ appeared. In other words, Jesus Christ had to come because the Old Testament people who had already died were still burdened with sin.
It is written in the Bible that the salvation of the Old Testament people was completed through the merits of Jesus’ blood as follows.
【1Pet. 3:18-20】 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
The spirits of those who died in the age of Noah were in prison, and after Jesus was resurrected, He went to preach the new covenant. Of course, Jesus preached the new covenant to all those who died in the Old Testament, not just those who died in the flood.
【1Pet. 4:5-6】 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
【Rome 14:9】 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead(people of Old Testament) and the living.
【1Cor. 15:22】 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Jesus Christ became the Lord(Savior) of both the dead and the living. The merit of Jesus’ blood is the grace that extends to everyone from Adam to the 144,000 last saints. The New Testament apostles said that the redemptive grace of Jesus Christ is evenly given to all who died in Adam.
Therefore, Matthew wrote that the faithful ancients of the Old Testament times entered the holy city of heaven after Jesus’ resurrection.
【Matt. 27:52-53】 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.