"Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is Abel your brother?' He said, 'I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?' And He said, 'What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground'" (Gen. 4:8-10).
After Cain murdered his brother, the voice of Abel's blood cried out to God from the ground. It cried out that a terrible sin had been committed. It cried out that one made in God's image had been slain. It cried out for vengeance!
Today, Christ's blood speaks also. Consider Hebrews 12:18-24:
For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (For they could not endure what was commanded: 'And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.' And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.') But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel."
As awesome as the scene was at Mount Sinai in Exodus 19 & 20, the reality of God's kingdom today surpasses its glory! Moses sprinkled blood on the people to confirm their covenant with Jehovah (Exo. 24:8). Those who obey the gospel of Christ, entering into the new covenant today, likewise have the blood of Jesus applied in their lives ("sprinkled" - Heb. 10:22). The language of the text is obviously figurative when the writer attributes to the blood of Christ the power of speech. The point is that the message of Christ's blood is better than that of Abel's. How is it better? It doesn't only speak regarding vengeance but to so much more! Christ's blood speaks a message that men need to hear and believe, for their own good, now and eternally.
We want to contemplate three things that the blood of Christ declares.
1. THE BLOOD OF CHRIST SPEAKS OF THE SINFULNESS OF MANKIND.
In this regard, Abel's blood and Jesus' blood share a similar message. They were both unjustly murdered and this is abundant proof of the sinfulness of humanity. Jesus' blood delivers this truth in a more potent way, however. It wasn't just a single wicked man or immoral deed that resulted in Jesus dying on the cross; it was a combined effort from all mankind spanning our entire history!
The Scriptures continually emphasize that the death of Christ was vicarious (i.e., a substitute offering for the benefit of others). Isaiah said that "God laid on Him the sins of us all" (53:6). Paul stated that God made Christ a sin-offering - "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (II Cor. 5:21). Christ was offered to "bear the sins of many" according to Hebrews 9:28.
Sin and its consequences are a terrible reality that we cannot escape on our own. Our sins separate us from God. Isaiah 59:1,2 affirms - "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." Contrary to popular belief, we do not inherit the guilt of sin from others who have lived before us. The prophet Ezekiel makes this clear - "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (18:20). All accountable people have sinned. Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And what is the price demanded for unforgiven sin? Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
When we become cognizant of the price that our Lord had to pay for our sins, we should be impressed by the seriousness of sin and depressed by sin's manifestation in our lives. Paul expressed it beautifully in II Corinthians 8:9 - "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich." You see, friends, we were dead in trespasses and sin and without hope. "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-7). Jesus' blood vividly speaks to the sinfulness of the human race.
We will consider the remaining two point in our next lesson.