In October 2020, the people of Tamil Nadu, India, were shocked to hear news about the murder of a Father-son duo from Sathankulam. They were both tortured in police custody and killed by corrupt policemen. The postmortem report stated that they died from excessive loss of blood from merciless beatings that lasted for many hours. This brutal murder sparked an outcry from around the world and on every social media platform.
We cringe at the thought of wicked men inflicting such injustice on innocent people. But this cruelty is an age-old problem and can be traced back to the sons of Adam and Eve.
The First Murder:
In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve both had perfect communion with their Creator. Due to their disobedience, they were banished from the garden of Eden and were separated from God. Having now lost the perfect relationship with the all-wise and all-knowing God, they were left to their own schemes and devices. Two sons were born to them named Cain and Abel. Cain became a farmer; and his younger brother Abel a shepherd. The brothers both made sacrifices, but God favored Abel’s sacrifice and disapproved of Cain’s (Genesis 4:4-5).
The rejection made Cain furious, and he was left seething with anger towards Abel. God mercifully intervened and told Cain that if he refuses to do what is right, then Sin is crouching at the door – eager to control him. However, Cain did not heed God’s voice and instead premeditated on killing his brother. One day he suggested that Abel go with him into the fields. Once they were there, Cain attacked his brother and killed him in cold blood. The ground was soaked with red lifeblood flowing out of Abel’s veins.
The first human murder had occurred.
Abel’s Blood Speaks a Message of Revenge:
After this murder, God confronts Cain. “But the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!’” (Genesis 4:9-10).
Why does the blood cry out? What does it mean? Obviously, Abel’s blood was not crying out to God. This type of language is used in the Bible to signify “the cry of injustice”. We see the same kind of language in Revelation chapter 6: “They shouted to the Lord and said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?’” (verse 10).
Here, Martyrs for Jesus cry out to God to avenge their blood and bring judgment on those responsible for their murder. Whenever someone’s blood is shed, their physical body that was created in God’s image is destroyed. Their future is cut short on earth, and all of the possibilities that could have been theirs ends abruptly. This grave injustice is portrayed in the form of their blood crying out to God for justice.
The Death of the Son of God:
Now let us turn our focus to the most significant bloodshed in human history- the death of Jesus, the Son of God. This has many facets and many diverse groups were responsible for the death of Jesus. Undoubtedly, the chief priests and elders of the Jewish people were responsible for His death (Matthew 26:3-4). They constantly plotted and schemed to take the life of Jesus. But Romans were the ones who actually crucified Him, under the authority of Pontius Pilate. The people of Israel were also complicit in the killing of the Holy One of God, when they shouted “crucify Him, crucify Him!”.
Finally and amazingly, we also read that God, the Father had planned this redemption before the foundations of the world (Acts 2:23). The Bible also states that Jesus Himself willingly laid down His life (John 10:14-18).
How do we tie this all together? His death on the cross was not an afterthought by God, rushed through after the event. It had been settled before the fall of mankind to sin. He then allowed wicked men to kill Jesus, thus accomplishing His plan to bring salvation to the world. “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (Acts 2:23).
Christ’s Blood Speaks a Different Message:
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, blood from his veins poured out to the ground. The author of Hebrew then makes an astounding statement that the blood of Christ speaks a different message than that of Abel’s blood – a better message.
How is this message different from that of Abel’s blood? How is it better? Let us look at the differences in detail. We can say that it is different primarily in 3 aspects.
Firstly, Abel’s blood speaks for divine vengeance on his brother Cain. But Christ’s blood speaks for forgiveness on His enemies.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (Ephesians 1:7).
Secondly, Abel’s blood speaks for the separation of Cain from the presence of God. But Christ’s blood speaks to His enemies (us) being eternally reconciled to God.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).
Finally, Abel’s blood speaks to the conscience of Cain being filled with guilt. But Christ’s blood speaks for a conscience made clean because of the sprinkling of His blood.
“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
It was for our sins that Jesus went to his death on Calvary’s cross. Therefore all of us were responsible for his death. We were running away from God being guilt-laden and eternally separated from Him. But Christ brought us back to God through his death and his blood speaks a better message over us.
Are you a believer struggling in sin? Jesus is your advocate. “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous” ( 1 John 2:1). His blood is speaking better things for you – run to Him rather than running away from Him.
Are you someone who has never trusted Christ? His blood is speaking to you. As you respond in faith and trust in Him, He will eternally reconcile you to your heavenly Father through his blood. “For this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many” (Matthew 26:28).