What can blood say? In fact, before that, what does Abel have to say? Adam and Eve began with two sons, Cain and Abel. There is absolutely nothing recorded of what Abel may have said while living. But the story in Genesis 4 says that his blood cried out to God. When we come to the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, the writer says that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. What does the blood of Abel say?
Most people are at least casually acquainted with the story of Cain and Abel. Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. In Genesis 4 both brothers bring to God an offering. Cain brings an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brings the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. The story then tells us that the LORD had regard for the offering of Abel, but not for the offering of Cain. Some have suggested that it was the sacrifice of an animal and the shedding of blood that makes Abel’s offering pleasing to God. But there is nothing in the text or the story to give that suggestion. They are not offering a sacrifice for sin’s atonement.
The hints of the Scripture lead us to assume that Cain simply gave something while Abel gave his firstborn. The offering of the “fat” speaks of giving the best. When we turn to the book of Hebrews and chapter 11 we are told that Abel’s offering is given in faith. Perhaps that suggests Cain’s was given in the flesh. The end result is Cain is angry.
Don’t miss in the story that God comes to Cain and cautions him about his anger. He speaks of how sin waits to destroy him. God indicates to Cain that even though his offering had not been pleasing, Cain can still make things right with God if he makes good choices. But as you remember, Cain murders his brother, and then tries to hide his sin. God comes and asks where his brother is, and we remember the famous line, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The story even seems to end tragically. We discover Cain is cursed of God, and he wanders from the presence of God to a land called Nod, which means, “wandering”. That is how it is with a life of sin. It takes us away from the Presence of God and it leads to a restlessness of wandering. Sin always takes us father than we wanted to go, keeps us longer than we wanted to be, and makes us pay a price higher than we wanted to pay.
Perhaps Cain thought he could cover up his sin and pretend as though nothing had happened. But God says that the blood of his brother bears testimony from the grave. Again, as someone has wisely said, “Sin that is secret on earth is open scandal in heaven.”
Here is my focal point: Hebrews 12:24 says that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word of testimony than the blood of Abel. Abel’s blood cries “Guilty, guilty.” The blood of Jesus testifies that the guilt has been atoned for and declares, “Forgiven.” The blood of Abel demands avenging. The blood of Jesus declares “Paid in full.” It is indeed a much better word.