A blog by Josh Humbert
***Note: The series of posts here (“part 1, part 2,” etc) are from my category called Get In The Word. To read more like this, you can click the Get In The Word category from the drop-down menu on the right side of this page. Essentially, these posts are from my own sermon writing and preparation. My goal with this category is to help you see truth in Scripture, and to assist those who might be preparing their own sermon or study. I highly encourage each person to do their own reading, studying, and praying, but my goal is to provide a look into how I handled it and maybe spark some ideas in your work. May you benefit from this as you Get In The Word!***
The Wonderful Sacrifice
Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Then the Lord again came to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.”
Where Sin Always Leads
Sin always leads to destruction. We saw how God highlighted this in the wise counsel He gave to Cain, but now we see it sadly reach its conclusion.
All that wisdom so graciously given by God – totally ignored. All the warnings – unheeded. Take note that Cain doesn’t even so much as respond to any of God’s call. Though his parents (Adam and Eve) blame-shifted and made excuses at least they responded to God when He confronted them. Later, when Cain finally does respond to God, it is with his infamous and flippant “am I my brother’s keeper?”. The depths and darkness of sin should take our breath away.
We can learn this right here: when you ignore God’s wisdom, you are going full-speed towards destruction.
The Blood That Speaks
Where then is hope in this passage? There’s something rather fascinating in what God says, “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.” Essentially, God implies that Abel was innocent, his death was a great injustice, and now his blood is “crying” out to God.
Spilled blood always cries out to God. The damage of sin, the ruin of wrong cries out to be made right. If we could summarize what Abel’s blood is speaking to God, it would be this: “God, in the name of justice, reject Cain! He is guilty!”
This can be a heavy reality to consider. Maybe you and I haven’t spilled blood but our sins have fractured and damaged the lives of others and ourselves. What we’ve done cries out against us.
The Blood That Speaks Better
Hebrews 12:22 functions as a commentary on Genesis 4 but also as a life-giving Gospel message. It says, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God….and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”
The picture comes into focus: Abel and Jesus have their similarities for a reason. Abel previews what will happen to Jesus – the innocent will be slain by the wicked. Jesus will be the true and better Abel.
His blood “speaks better,” because Jesus is the Wonderful Sacrifice. Jesus graciously becomes the true Sacrifice for all sins when He lays down His life. Now, because of Calvary, the blood of Jesus stands before God and says “God, in the name of justice, save him! Embrace him! Love him! Be gracious to him because I have paid for him.”
God’s law demands a payment for breaking it and only Jesus Christ has paid the debt you owe. Christ suffered in your place – He shed His innocent blood on your behalf. So then if Jesus is Savior and Lord then there’s NO WAY God can or would reject you. The blood of Jesus speaks FOR you.
His blood speaks out, “Have mercy, be gracious, love them!”
When we begin to see the depth of that kind of love and the glory of that kind of King we can leave temptation of sin behind to follow Him in obedience.
What do you do when destruction is at your door? You reject the fake devotion of the Wicked Brother, you LISTEN to the Wise Counselor, and you rejoice in the Wonderful Sacrifice given for you.
Louisiana Vs Us
Louisiana is not my favorite of the 50 American states. Well, it’s not so much Louisiana as much as it is the stretch of I-10 that runs through it. THAT road is definitely not a favorite because seemingly every single time I’ve been on it there has been major road construction. Most summers of my life from childhood to present, I’ve been on Louisiana I-10 on the way to and from Florida and it just has never been smooth sailing.
Some years ago, as my wife and I were driving our family back from a week in Florida our Google Map voice broke in saying something like, “I’ve found a faster route that would save you 2 hours. Press YES to accept.”
In the entire history of the ACCEPT Button I guarantee you that NO ONE has ever pressed it faster than I did that day! I was a BLUR I tell you!
The map took us off I-10 (there was major delays ahead because of construction, GO FIGURE!!) and onto some crazy backroads on a wild detour. I’m pretty sure I even drove through someone’s backyard at some point. Finally, it brought us back to I-10 and it was picturesque how all the traffic was lined up behind us and it was nothing but open road in front as we merged on the highway.
I turned to my wife and said, “There has been MANY A DAY when Louisiana I-10 has claimed the victory but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY! VICTORY IS OURS!!!”
Listen – if you’re on the path of sin, if you aren’t paying attention to what’s crouching at your door this is a call to say…. there’s DISASTER up ahead. But guess what? You don’t have to face it.
We have God’s Word telling you plainly: there’s a way, a detour, around ALL of that. You can bypass all the heartache, regrets, and pain that will surely come from sin. We have God’s Word calling you to a life of holy obedience not so you “miss out on fun” but so that you maximize your joy.
Hit the ACCEPT button and follow Christ straight outta this mess.
Thanks for reading. Your comments and insights are always welcomed. If you enjoyed this, please share it. Want more content? Check the archives or listen to me on the Cross-Cutting Culture Podcast on iTunes.