Posted in Genesis, Hebrews

A Better Message

“You have come…to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22a; 24

Before Cain killed Abel the Bible says that Cain invited him out into a field (Genesis 4:8). Cain didn’t want anyone to know what he was going to do, so he did it in a secret place. But there is no hiding sin from God. The Lord said to Cain, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10) What was that voice crying to the Judge of the whole universe? It was a cry for justice against Cain. He was guilty of treachery, deceit, jealousy, unbridled anger, and of murdering an innocent victim. When Cain hears that his brother’s blood is crying out to God, he becomes afraid and flees the presence of God to go to the land of Nod; translated – the land of “wandering.”

Maybe we haven’t sinned in the same way Cain did, but our sins also cry out to God for justice. We may be able to justify our sins to ourselves and to other people, but we can’t justify them before God. He knows everything, even our motives, and the truth is we’re guilty. Can the holy and righteous Judge of the whole universe ignore the cry of justice against us because of our sins?

No, He can’t. He has heard the cry of every injustice on this planet, so in His holiness He demanded a just penalty be paid for our sins. He knew that if we paid that price ourselves it would mean we would be separated from Him forever, so in His great love for us, He decided to pay that penalty Himself. Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood to fulfill the cry for justice our sins demanded. Today His blood is speaking a very different message than the blood of Abel.

It speaks to God and to us about our forgiveness because our penalty has already been paid. It speaks to us of a new beginning with God every day. It speaks of my justification – just as if I’d never sinned – before God. Instead of fleeing God’s presence in fear, it assures us we can run to God with confidence. Instead of living a life of wandering without God, the blood of Jesus speaks to us of a life filled with purpose as we partner with God.

Which voice are you listening to today? Is it the one that speaks of fear, guilt, and judgment? That is not God’s voice, but only the accuser’s. God is speaking to you and me from the cross about His love, His forgiveness, and a new beginning.


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin