We continue from where we previously left off https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/how-were-the-believers-that-lived-before-the-crucifixion-saved-pt-1/.
The witness of Luke-Acts
Like Mark before him, the blessed Apostle Paul’s traveling companion goes out of his way to affirm that Jesus’ vicarious death and resurrection had been announced beforehand in the sacred writings of God’s true prophets:
“Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. For I tell you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.’” Luke 10:23-24
“Taking the twelve, He said, ‘Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything THAT IS WRITTEN BY THE PROPHETS CONCERNING THE SON OF MAN will be accomplished, for He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and put Him to death, and on the third day He will rise again.’ They understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend what was spoken.” Luke 18:31-34
“He said to them, ‘O fools! And slow of heart to believe what THE PROPHETS HAVE SPOKEN! Was it not NECESSARY for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter His glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES.” Luke 24:25-27
“He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things MUST BE FULFILLED which were WRITTEN in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms CONCERNING ME.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and accordingly it was NECESSARY for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.’” Luke 24:44-49
“The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Creator of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, by faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. And faith which comes through Him has given him perfect health in your presence. Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold THROUGH ALL THE PROPHETS, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the One who previously was preached to you, Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke THROUGH ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS since the world began. For Moses indeed said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall hear whatever He may say to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be utterly eliminated from the people.’ Indeed, ALL THE PROPHETS since Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your iniquities.’” Acts 3:13-26
“We are witnesses of all that He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. But God raised Him on the third day and presented Him publicly, not to all the people, but to witnesses previously chosen by God, to us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. To Him ALL THE PROPHETS BEAR WITNESS that whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins through His name.” Acts 10:39-43
“Now when Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John departed from them and returned to Jerusalem. But they departed from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it.’ Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: ‘Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen… When He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, of whom He testified, saying, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will fulfill My entire will.” From this man’s descendants God has raised a Savior for Israel, Jesus, according to His promise. Before His coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. As John was fulfilling his course, he said, “Who do you think I am? I am not He. But look! He is coming after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.” Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those of you who fear God, the word of this salvation has been sent to us. Because those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, did not know Him, in condemning Him they have fulfilled the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath. Though they found in Him no cause worthy of death, yet they asked Pilate to have Him killed. When they had fulfilled all that WAS WRITTEN OF HIM, they took Him down from the tree and placed Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead, and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now His witnesses to the people.’” Acts 13:13-16, 22-31
“When they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. According to his custom, Paul went in, and on three Sabbaths he lectured to them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus, whom I preach to you, is the Christ.’ Some of them were persuaded and joined with Paul and Silas, including a great crowd of devout Greeks and many leading women.” Acts 17:1-4
“Therefore having obtained help from God, I continue to this day, testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen: that the Christ must suffer, that He would be the first who would rise from the dead, and would announce light to His own people and to the Gentiles.’” Acts 26:22-23
“When they had arranged a day to be with him, many came to him at his residence. From morning until evening he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God to them, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets. Some believed what was said, but some did not believe.” Acts 28:23-24
Luke even records two instances where Isaiah 53 was used to show how God had already announced beforehand that the Messiah would die for sinners:
“Then He said to them, ‘When I sent you without purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘Nothing.’ He said to them, ‘But now, let him who has a purse take it and also a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his garment and buy one. For I tell you, WHAT IS WRITTEN MUST YET BE ACCOMPLISHED IN ME, ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.” Indeed, what is written concerning Me HAS A FULFILLMENT.’” Luke 22:35-37
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise up and go toward the south on the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is desert. So he rose up and went. And there was a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in command of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship. He was returning, sitting in his chariot and reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to this chariot and stay with it.’ Then Philip ran to him, and heard him read the book of Isaiah the prophet, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: ‘He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation justice was denied Him; who will speak of His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.’ The eunuch said to Philip, ‘I ask you, of whom does the prophet speak, of himself or of someone else?’ Then Philip spoke, beginning with the same Scripture, and preached Jesus to him.” Acts 8:26-35
It should therefore come as no surprise to find Luke mentioning the fact of God having predestined that Jesus would be betrayed, and that he would be handed over by the Jews to the Gentiles so that they could put him to death:
“But see the hand of him who betrays Me is with Me at the table. Indeed, the Son of Man goes AS IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED. But woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Luke 22:21-22
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with powerful works and wonders and signs, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know. You have taken Him, who was handed over to you by the ordained counsel and foreknowledge of God, and by lawless hands have crucified and killed Him, whom God raised up by loosening the pull of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” Acts 2:22-24
“On being released, they went to their own people and reported what the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they lifted their voices in unity to God and prayed, ‘Lord, You are God, who has made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, and who by the mouth of Your servant David said: “Why did the nations rage, and the people devise vain things? The kings of the earth came, and the rulers were assembled together against the Lord and against His Christ.” Indeed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were assembled together against Your holy Son Jesus whom You have anointed, to do what Your hand and Your counsel had foreordained to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats and grant that Your servants may speak Your word with great boldness, by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be performed in the name of Your holy Son Jesus.’ When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:23-31
Therefore, since Luke emphatically testifies that Jesus’ death and resurrection were predestined by God and prophesied in the sacred writings of the prophets, this means that question mark has no choice but to accept that God did in fact save OT believers on the basis of Christ’s perfect righteousness and vicarious death on their behalf.
With the foregoing in view we can now move to the OT itself so as to see what these inspired Scriptures have to say concerning the role that the Messiah plays in bringing about the redemption of God’s people https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/how-were-the-believers-that-lived-before-the-crucifixion-saved-pt-3/.