Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OT Sacrifices, Solomon's Sacrifice, How OT people were saved

Anonymous asked three questions:
1. Regarding OT sacrifices: what was their purpose, really?

The OT sacrifices served several purposes. For ease of reading and organization, I did a quick Google search for "Old Testament sacrificial system" and found a number of links. Many are cumbersome. Try these for a brief overview of the sacrificial system:





We also find in the Book of Hebrews the comparison between the Old Covenant sacrificial system and the New (Jesus being the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world). See especially chapters 8-10.

2. And why did Solomon sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep at the dedication of the temple (see
1 Kings 8:62-65)?

Solomon offered the oxen and sheep as an act of worship, devotion, self-consecration and thanksgiving. Such sacrifices were commonplace during the Old Testament period. For example, see this chart found at  http://home.earthlink.net/~lionlamb/SacrificialSystem.html 

3. How will people from the OT get to heaven, since they did not have Christ?

People in the Old Testament were saved in the same way people in the Christian era are saved: By grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8-10). In the Old Testament, faith was placed in God and manifested through their sacrificial system and good works to prove their faith. The prophets talked about this kind of 'proof' of faith throughout their writings. As for the NT, according to the progressive revelation revealed by the NT writers, we are saved today by grace through faith, with the focus of our faith being Jesus the Christ, who is the Lamb of God (see, for example, Isaiah 53). Baptism and Circumcision are intimately related to these OT and NT salvation concepts, but I won't address that topic here. Furthermore, the NT writers also make it clear that the 'proof' of our faith in Christ is our works (e.g. Matthew 25:31-46; James 2:14-26.

I found this link that might also help answer your question:  http://www.gotquestions.org/before-Jesus.html

Hope this helps.  Sorry for the delay. Busy with Holy Week and work.



  1. Hebrew children in the Old Testament were born into God's covenant, both male and female. Circumcision was the sign of this covenant for boys, but the sign was not what saved them. Faith saved them. Rejecting the sign, circumcision, for boys, either by the parents or later as an adult himself, was a sign of a lack of true faith, and therefore the child was "cut off" from God's promises as clearly stated in Genesis chapter 17:

    "Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

    What was the purpose of this covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? God tells us in the beginning of this chapter of Genesis:

    "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you."

    This covenant wasn't just to establish a Jewish national identity or a promise of the inheritance of the land of Caanan, as some evangelicals want you to believe. In this covenant, God promises to be their God. Does God say here that he will be their God only if they make a "decision for God" when they are old enough to have the intelligence and maturity to decide for themselves? No! They are born into the covenant!

    If Jewish children grew up trusting in God and lived by faith, they then received eternal life when they died. If when they grew up, they rejected God, turned their back on God, and lived a life of willful sin, when they died, they suffered eternal damnation. Salvation was theirs to LOSE. There is no record anywhere in the Bible that Jewish children were required to make a one time "decision for God" upon reaching an "Age of Accountability" in order to be saved.

    Therefore Jewish infants who died, even before circumcision, were saved.

    The same is true today. Christian children are born into the covenant. They are saved by faith. It is not the act of baptism that saves, it is faith. The refusal to be baptized is a sign of a lack of true faith and may result in the child being "cut off" from God's promise of eternal life, to suffer eternal damnation, as happened with the unfaithful Hebrew in the OT.

    Christ said, "He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be damned."

    It is not the lack of baptism that damns, it is the lack of faith that damns.

    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
    An orthodox Lutheran blog

  2. Hello, Gary. I rarely read comments to this blog because I hid it from my list in blogger . . . I did so because very very few people ever responded or asked me questions. So I decided the blog was not useful. I would have deleted it from my blog list, but decided against it.

    You make some good points, but you might expect me to disagree with some because of my understanding of both testaments from a Catholic perspective.