Black and Yellow Butterfly on a Leaf

The First Murder and the New Covenant

Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illustration f...

Cain and Abel;

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:24

And 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 slew him.   And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And 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 unto me from the ground. Genesis 4:8-10

It sure didn’t take long for people to start being terribly mean to each other did it?  Already what God had said about hatred between the seed of Satan and the seed of Eve was coming true.

God never overlooks a murder no matter how hidden a victim is from other people.  It stains the ground and there is only one thing that can clean it again. Guess what that is!

I really like the verse in Hebrews.  Jesus could have cried out to God like Abel’s death did and brought even more guiltiness down on us.  He could have told God His Father to just wipe us all out and forget about it.  But He didn’t!  Just after Jesus was nailed onto the cross He prayed out loud to God and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

What a relief that is! We can get used to hearing about Jesus’ love for us. That we don’t have to worry about God rejecting us because Jesus paid for our sins.  It’s easy to forget that He had every right to abandon us to hell.  Praise the LORD, He didn’t.

Oh, Jesus’ love is so deep, so free, so huge.  What God the Father and Jesus schemed to do for us is something no one else in the universe would have ever dreamed of doing (I Corinthians 2:8).

We want to be good, earn our own way to God, make Him be happy with us.  That’s what every religion people have invented tells us to do.  But it’s not what God did.  Instead, God tells us all  we are hopeless and deserve nothing but hell.  “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;” But then God tells us “and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

Thank you, Father, for loving me enough to send your Son to suffer and die in my place.  Thank you, Jesus, for being obedient to Your Father and loving me enough to forgive me when my sins killed you.  Thank you for cleaning my whole soul and making me yours.  All that I have and am is Yours.  I am Your servant now and forever.  I love you.  Amen!!!

Sagittarius Dwarf Irregular Galaxy (SagDIG)

He has not treated us as our sins deserve; nor given us the reward of our iniquities.  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:10-14

Black and Yellow Butterfly on a Leaf

Covering Sacrifice

Ukrainian folk leather coat, Buchach muesum, B...

Ukrainian folk leather coat, Buchach muesum, Buchach, Ukraine

For Adam and his wife the LORD God made coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

What was the very next thing that God did after telling Adam and Eve a savior would come and they were going to have pain and hard work?  The very first death that the universe had ever known happened.  It doesn’t actually quite say it, maybe because it blew Adam’s mind when he wrote it down for us, but it did happen.  In order for God to take the skin of an animal, He had to kill it.

This tells us something really special about God.  He knows that we can never cover our shame by ourselves. We would never be comfortable in His presence (Remember those fig leaf girdles?).  God Himself provided a sacrifice for Adam and Eve; He was the first priest between God and people.

Does this remind you of another time in the Bible?

Jesus, through Kind David and others prophesied that, “Sacrifice and offering you did not want, but you prepared a body for me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.  Then I said, see, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God.”  [By God’s]  will we are made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Hebrews 10:5-7,10

God didn’t really want a bunch of dead, cut up animals,  He wanted a pure, holy offering that could truly wash away our sin stains.  Before Jesus died, we needed a way to remember our need for someone else to pay the price and cover our sins.

Adam and Eve were really smart people.  They had hundreds of years to think about what they had done and what God did. We aren’t told how they realized God wanted sacrifices to show honor to Him, but we know their sons offered things to the Lord when they were still young enough not to be fathers yet.

Sacrifice of Cain and Abel

Sacrifice of Cain and Abel

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of its fat. And the LORD regarded Abel and his offering: Genesis 4:3,4

What kind of offering did Abel bring to God that He wanted to look at?  It was a first-time mother’s new lamb, cut up on the altar.  It could be that God had earlier killed a sheep so they knew that was the kind of animal God wanted.  We don’t know.  But we do know lambs are the most common sacrifice God asked for.

When Abraham was stopped from sacrificing his son Isaac, there was a ram to take his place.  Jesus Himself is called the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  When Jesus is finally given the scroll to take back power over the earth, He appears as a slain lamb (Revelation 5:6).

Thank you, Lord Jesus for being our covering, our Passover Lamb, the one who goes to God for us so God can be pleased with us again!!!

That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:11b