ABEL AND HIS SACRIFICE
“Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering,” (Genesis 4:4.)
As a shepherd, Abel did everything in his life for “the glory of God.” Therefore, when he offered a sacrifice upon an altar, the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. . Able “…brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” However, the Lord was not pleased with Cain’s offering of the fruit of the ground. Why? What’s the significance, the difference between these two offerings?
The offering of Cain signified the work of His own hands, but Abel’s offering signified the finished work of Christ. John 1:29 says, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Abel’s offering was symbolical of our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross. Like the first streak of light which tinges the east at sunrise, it does not reveal everything, but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun is coming.
As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest, offering his sacrifice as a sweet smelling savor unto God, we discern our Lord Jesus, who brings before His Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah has everlasting respect.
Abel was hated by his brother; but hated without a righteous cause; and even so was our Savior. Cain, a type of the natural and carnal man hated the accepted Able in whom the Spirit of grace was found, and rested not until his blood had been shed.
1John 3:11-12 says, “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
After Abel fell to the ground, the Lord asked Cain, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground,” Genesis 4:10. The blood of Able points our attention to our Savior, the Lord Jesus. Abel was slain by the enmity of man while serving as a priest before the Lord. Our Savior said in John 10:15 “…I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Let us each examine our own hearts as we view Him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of His altar with His own blood. Abel’s blood speaks, it speaks vengeance. “The Lord said unto Cain, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto Me from the ground.” However, the blood of Jesus has a mightier tongue; its prevailing cry is not vengeance but pardon.
It is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar / the cross of our Good Shepherd! To see Him bleeding there as “the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” As our heavenly high priest He offered Himself without spot to appease His Father’s wrath upon our sin.
Now we can hear His blood speaking peace to all His flock; peace between man and his offended creator, peace in our conscience, peace between former enemies, peace down through the ages of eternity for fallen mankind.
Abel is the first shepherd of all shepherds, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence. He is the shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep, and we the people of His pasture will praise His holy name forever.
The blood of Abel cried from the ground for Vengeance; but the blood of Jesus cries out to the world for Pardon! Amen.