So humanity fell. Sin entered the world through the choice of our first parents and infected every part of human life. Adam and Eve suffered the loss of spiritual life and nothing was the same. Nor could they return to what they had. For the first time, they knew suffering and deprivation. They experienced pain and even death. And sin entered the lives of all their children.
But God still loved them. That never changed. His desire was for fellowship with them. Yes, they were separated from Him but He stayed near. He would guide them and care for them, but they would not have the communion with Him they had before.
We know that God had a plan. At the right time, Christ would die for the people God loved and those who trusted in Him would find that communion Adam and Eve had lost. In fact, they would find much more. The very life of Jesus Christ would be theirs. He would live in them and they would live in Him. But the right time was a long way off.
What about all those people who lived between Adam and Jesus? By the most conservative count, there were 4000 years between them. That represents a lot of people. Was there no hope for them? This question has challenged us for a long time. What about the Old Testament people? How were they saved? There were some good people, according to the stories. What about them?
Let me reduce centuries of debate to a single statement: Old Testament saints were saved by grace through faith. Sound familiar? That’s right. They were saved the same way we are saved. They trusted in the Lord as their Savior. The only difference between us and them is that our salvation is already and theirs was coming. They looked forward to what would be accomplished for them on the cross. We look back to what was done for us.
God alone is the Savior! There is no other. We believe that Jesus is God. Otherwise He could not be the Savior we need. The unity between the Old Testament/Covenant and the New Testament/Covenant is Jesus.
I, even I, am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11
“Yet I am the LORD your God Ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; For there is no Savior besides Me. Hosea 13:4
But they did not know about the cross. Not really. They received hints and a call to trust the Lord. They knew the burden of sin and their separation from God, but they did not know what He would do about those things. They just had to trust Him.
I don’t think anyone really knows why Jesus came when He did. The Scripture simply says it was “at the right time.” It has been my experience that God’s sense of timing is very different from mine. Most believers have found that to be true. I remember hearing Chuck Smith say, “Every time I have given God a deadline, He missed it!” Timing is something very special in the hands and mind of God. He accomplishes things by precision timing that could only be described as miraculous. So, we simply have to trust that Jesus came “at the right time.”
So what was supposed to happen during the 4000+ years between Adam and Jesus? What were the people supposed to do? Did God just leave them alone? Not at all! There was a plan to guide them and protect them until the Day.
Tomorrow . . .