The People of God, Knowledge of Jesus, and Redemption Applied

Individuals in the Old Testament needed to know and believe that Yahweh was “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…”(Exod. 34.6-7). One of the only bases the OT people had in trusting God for who he says he was, was his promises to them that he would provide for their every need, including redemption. Now, he could not be a God who kept steadfast love for thousands, and forgive iniquity and transgression and sin, unless his promise of redemption was to ultimately and finally be fulfilled in his one and only Son. The apostle Paul says, “God put Jesus forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins” (Rom 3.25). Whose sins did God pass over? Everyone’s sins, including those in the OT, since “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb 10.4). So, Jesus “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb 9.26). But some of the OT individuals may not have even had the fulfillment of the sacrifices (i.e., Jesus) in mind. Yet, they trusted God who promised he would be their God and their salvation.

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