Of Christ the Mediator.
Chapter 8, Paragraph 6.
“Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ until after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein He was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head;…”
1 Corinthians 10:4
1 Peter 1:10, 11
Jesus has purchased the redemption of the elect. All who repent and trust in Him receive eternal life. There is no other way of salvation. But what about those who lived before Christ? Were any of them saved? How were they saved if they didn’t know about Jesus, His perfect life and His death on the cross?
God’s elect have lived throughout time, including the time before Christ. Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, a Savior was promised that would crush the serpent’s head. While those of the Old Testament period did not know the name of the Messiah, they knew He would be coming and looked forward to that day. Through the sacrificial systems they knew they needed atonement, and that a greater sacrifice than bulls and goats was needed for full atonement. The promises given to them by God ensured that He would supply a Savior, and prophecy foretold of the life of the Messiah. The types they witnessed symbolized aspects of Christ’s work. Thus by believing God and trusting in the Messiah that was to come were the Old testament saints saved.
The redemption of Christ reaches back in time to those who eagerly awaited His coming. Its virtue, effectiveness, and benefits are the same for those believers who lived before Christ as they are for believers who have lived since. One group looks forward; the other group looks back. Both receive grace, mercy, and eternal life because of the one mediator, Jesus Christ.
Questions to Consider
- Isn’t it comforting to know that all the elect receive salvation in the same way – through Christ?