“God put forward Jesus [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.” Romans 3:25 IOW – God allowed sin to go unpunished before Jesus came and died on the cross. Jesus’ death on the cross retroactively paid for the sins of those before. Did the sacrifices the Jews did in the Old Testament only allow them to be in the presence of God while He inhabited the tabernacle (cover their sin but not remove it)? Gonna have to dig in there.