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Did Jesus die for the sins of the people who lived before he came to earth?


God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:25-26
            Unlike the animals sacrificed in the temple before him, Jesus is eternal and his blood has eternal powers.  When he died for sins, Jesus died for past, present and future sins from people who lived in the past, in the present and were to be born in the future.  In the same way that blood covered our sin in the future, it covered the sins of the people in the past.
            Romans 3 says God left the sins committed beforehand unpunished, meaning they were still open cases with no final resolution.  Once Jesus died, his blood was applied to those cases and for those who believed in a coming Messiah and had faith in God, Jesus’ blood stamped them “resolved.”  Their trust in God applied even after they died.