Question for Christians... as stated in the bible.. if you believe in Jesus you go to heaven.....
what then happened to those saints that died before the birth of Jesus? (eg: moses, abraham, etc) I know they were resurrected when Jesus died, but what about the hundreds/thousands of years between then and the time of their death? Were they just stuck wandering on earth?
They were under what is referred to as the first covenant. Jesus is the intercessor for sins and essentially takes away the sins of the world. People who lived before Jesus had their sins forgiven by making animal sacrifices. You can read about this in the book of Leviticus
When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, His blood sacrifice also covered the sins of Old Testament saints. Thus, the forgiveness received in the Old Testament was based on Christ's atonement.
2 Kings 2:11 gives one example (there are many more) of an Old Testament saint who went to heaven. "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind."
Thus, all saints who died before Christ died knowing the hour would come when Christ would actually die as that spotless Lamb of God in place the animal sacrifices of their day (i.e.- Isaiah 53:5, Job 19:25-26, Zechariah 9:9, Genesis 3:15, 22:8) .
Hope this helps,
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