[quote=phatcatholic]i need hard, irrefutable proof of the timelessness of Jesus’ work on the cross–how it can even save people before it was done.
Here’s some interesting verses I stumbled across:
Gal 3:8 - The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”
It suggests that the gospel message went out long before Christ was even around, through it probably wasn’t fully understood until Christ showed up on earth.
Here’s what St. Peter says about Noah and Christ:
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (1 Peter 3:18-20, NASB)
Unlike the common interpretation saying that Jesus literally went into the Hadean realm and preached to these spirits, I have a completely different interpretation (and fortunately the NASB translation brings this out): Jesus preached to these people who happened to be in prison at the time of St. Peter writing his epistle.
So who are these spirits? The ones who were ‘disobedient in the days of Noah’. So how did Jesus preach to them under this interpretation? This may sound bizarre but here’s what I believe: Jesus preached through Noah.
And here’s my reasoning: Noah was a ‘preacher of righteousness’ (2 Pet 2:5). And it’s the righteous who are given eternal life (Matt 25:46).
Also, check out Luke 20:1. Apparently Jesus was preaching the gospel even before he died! Now compare that with Acts 8:40, where Philip preaches the gospel (after Jesus’s death. So people like Abraham, Noah, and Jesus were preaching the gospel message even before Jesus died.
For me at least, this suggests timelessness in God’s work on the cross.
I hope some of this is useful