Righteousness in the Hebrew Scriptures…
Righteousness (a right standing) with the Father in the Hebrew Scriptures was attained just as it is in the New Covenant, by “faith” (Hebrews 11; Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Genesis 5:24). That right standing with the Father in no way suggested a man or woman was “holy” or “perfect” or sufficiently “righteous” to enter the Kingdom and the presence of Elohim but only that those who placed faith in Elohim had pleased Him and were acceptable to Him yet they could not enter His presence due to their sin that had not received the atonement, a blood atonement first pictured in Genesis 3:21, foreshadowed by the animal blood sacrifices under Law and clearly articulated in Leviticus 17:11; ultimately, fulfilled by Messiah Jesus at Golgotha initiating the New Covenant in His blood (Matthew 26:28); therefore, those who attained a right standing with the Father by faith in the Hebrew Scriptures, upon death of their body in Time, were detained in Sheol/Hades-Paradise (Abraham’s bosom – Luke 16; Psalm 16:10) and remained there until the acceptable blood atonement for sin was performed by Messiah at Golgotha.
Messiah’s blood atonement for the remission of sin is essential for both the “righteous” in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as nothing impure is permitted to enter the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:27) and only the purity of Messiah’s blood redeems humanity from the stain of sin (Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 10). Subsequent Messiah’s atoning sacrifice, those who die in body having placed their faith in Jesus as Lord and enter the Spiritual Realm, these are ushered into the presence of our Lord instantaneously as Hades-Sheol/Paradise is no longer relevant as the acceptable atonement has been performed by our High Priest, Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Today, by covenant promise (Hebrews 8:12), those who place their faith in Messiah Jesus as Lord receive the perfection of Messiah Jesus over their life via an imputed righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and are declared “not guilty” by the Father; this too is an imputed “righteousness” and “holiness” not earned, not deserved, but gifted by grace (unmerited favor unattainable through human effort) through faith (trusting-believing) in Jesus as Lord, Messiah who paid our sin-debt owed the Father for us. It is by faith, alone, in Jesus, alone, that mankind can experience peace with the Father, forever, whether they existed BC or AD (Romans 5:1).