There were many righteous before the cross that God kept safe, they had faith
Q. What does it mean in Rom 3.25 where it says that God "passed over" the sins previously committed?
A. To understand this, we have to see that all of this was decided upon before the world was.
It was decided what Yeshua was going to do and what the Father was going to do.
In Rom 3.25 it says that God displayed what Yeshua did on the cross in a public manner, as a mercy seat.
The word mercy seat is the Hebrew "kipporet" (to cover over, atonement) and it is referring to the lid on the ark of the covenant where the blood was placed on Yom Kippur.
The Greek word for "kipp-oret" is "hilasterion" and this word has the same root as the word "hilarious."
So, God is "hilariously" satisfied with Yeshua’s sacrifice and through his blood grace is bursting forth (Acts 14.16, 17.30).
Now, we know that sin demanded death.
We read in Gen 2.17 that the Lord said "for in the day that you eat (of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you shall surely die."
In Hebrew it says "in dying (spiritually) you shall die (physically)."
But, that isn’t exactly what happened.
There were many who died physically but had faith and did not die in the sense of being forever separated from God.
There were many righteous ones before the cross that God kept "safe" from eternal damnation after their death because they had faith.
The Father had confidence, faith, in what Yeshua would do.
There was much at stake.
He knew that if he did not go through with the cross, many would have no chance for salvation because God meant what he said, and if there was no blood, then we all were lost based on Gen 2.17.
They were waiting for their salvation in a place called Abr-aham’s Bosom.
Yeshua had to vindicate the Father in what he said in Gen 2.17.
Yeshua had to finish his work.
Satan, on the other hand, lived up to his name as the accuser because he continually accused God of lying when he said "in dying you shall die" because there were many who were "saved" from the second death by faith before the cross.
So he accused God of having no integrity and lying.
Well, Yeshua dies and is resurrected and his blood is the proof that God was righteous in letting death "pass over" the sins previously committed and forever silencing Satan’s accusations against God and us for all time.
Yeshua is the "kipporet" before God that he "looks through" on our behalf.