Since Abraham was justified by faith in God, that is to say he believed God, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the Jews, who also believe God, would be justified by their faith? Wasn’t Abraham’s sin applied to the blood of Christ even though, expecting a Savior, he did not know Jesus? The Jews believe God will send a Savior just as Abraham believed God would send a Savior. They will go to their grave expecting God’s anointed. The Jews have faith in God. It seems that their faith in Him will go unrewarded.
Paul said Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3). All Old Testament Jews who believed in the coming redeemer were saved. In fact their faith was the only thing that made their sacrifices acceptable. Jesus said that Abraham saw His day and rejoiced in it (John 8:56). He was referring to the sacrifice of Isaac, acted out in Genesis 22. Abraham knew it foretold of the coming redeemer.
But when Jesus came, the Redeemer suddenly had a name and a face, and from that time on belief in Him was required. Jesus said it’s the only thing God requires of His people (John 6:28-29). He also said no one can come to the Father but through Him (John 14:6).
Major emphasis is placed on His name. Peter told Israel’s leaders that salvation is found in no one else for there is not other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Paul said all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). And God gave Him the name above every name that at the name of Jesus every every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:9-10).
Belief in a redeemer who will someday come to save God’s people is no longer sufficient, because He has come and His name is Jesus.