OT Salvation?


#1

Came across a question that I am not very familiar with so I figured I would throw it up in here:

I understand that our faith hinges on the the work that Jesus has already done. What was the basis for salvation before Jesus? Was it all about works then, coupled with atonement through annual sacrifice?


#2

Salvation was still due to Christ by the Old Law, but since Christ had not yet completed His work on Earth, the souls of the righteous were often “held in state” until such time as their merits could be united with Christ’s Sacrifice. This is why we say that Jesus “descended into Hell”; he went there to preach to those who were waiting for His Sacrifice, and to bring them to Heaven.

As for what personal deeds they were judged by, it would be the same as anyone after Christ, namely their acceptance and pursuit of God insofar as He’d been revealed. For Jews this would include both submission to the Law, and hope for the coming Messiah. In essence, the holy Jews had a personal faith in Christ long before His human birth. They were judged by the same things we are: our faith in God, and our actions living out that faith.


#3

To attain salvation through the Old Testament you needed to observe the law, like ghosty said, but you had to flawlessly follow the law. This is nearly impossible, and in fact only three humans have done so Mary, John the Baptist, and Jesus. The law showed our ancestors that they could not merit salvation themselves and that is where the beauty of Chist’s sacrifice comes in.


#4

You didn’t have to perfectly follow the Law, and John the Baptist is not believed to have perfectly followed it. The reason people can’t merit salvation on their own is that we have a broken nature and are unable to do anything to merit making amends, even obeying the Law 100% isn’t enough.

Also, if you had to follow the Law perfectly, and only three people ever had (only one dying before Jesus), then Jesus wouldn’t have been preaching to numerous people in Hades as described. Even Jesus speaks of people dwelling in what Jews called “Abraham’s bosom”. Moses and Elijah obviously made it, because they visited Jesus.


#5

[quote=flamingsword]To attain salvation through the Old Testament you needed to observe the law, like ghosty said, but you had to flawlessly follow the law. This is nearly impossible, and in fact only three humans have done so Mary, John the Baptist, and Jesus. The law showed our ancestors that they could not merit salvation themselves and that is where the beauty of Chist’s sacrifice comes in.
[/quote]

When the Judeans had a priesthood, they could get sins forgiven through animal sacrifices. This was the priests purpose (then and now). I do ont know if the forgivensess was as assured as Catholic confession, but it was performed.

The entire mass and its ceremonies / symbolism has roots in this sacrifice (as well obviously as the pass-over).

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#6

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