Abel. . .brought of the firstborn of his flock and their fat.  And the LORD respected Abel and his offering."  (Genesis 4:4).

"And He (God) said, 'What have you done?  The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground."  (Genesis 4:10).

Make no mistake about it.  God has attached an awesome sacredness to blood:  "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man."  (Genesis 9:6).

God often forbade the eating of flesh with the blood:  "But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood."  (Genesis 9:4,)

The reason God passed over the firstborn of man and beast among the Israelites in Egypt is clearly stated:  "Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are.  And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague will not be on you to destroy you. . ."  (Exodus 12:13).

In regard to the Day of Atonement and all of the sin and trespass offerings God declared, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is blood that makes atonement for the soul."  (Leviticus 17:11).

The New Testament confirms the necessity of blood sacrifice for sin:  Jesus said, "For this is My blood of the New covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."  (Matthew 26:28)  ". . .In whom we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."  (Colossians 1:14)  ". . .And without shedding of blood there is no remission (of sin)".  (Hebrews 9:22) 


"By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it (the Lamb's blood) he being dead still speaks."  (Hebrews 11:14).


Abel testified by the sacrifice of his lamb, "I need the Redeemer to pay the redemption price to redeem me from my sin."  On what basis can we make such a bold statement?  We are told explicitly in Hebrews 11:4 that Abel's offering was motivated by faith.  We are informed that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."  (Romans 10:17).  This means that God revealed His plan of redemption; Abel "heard" that plan, accepted it, and in faith acted on it.
     It is clear that God originally spoke verbally and in types (pictures) for thousands of years.  In various ways God would appear and speak to a chosen person.  In turn, this chosen person would reveal what God had shared with others.  We note two events in which God revealed His plan of redemption:

  1. After Adam and Eve sinned they tried to make themselves acceptable to God by a covering of leaves (Genesis 3:17).  This was not acceptable to God and He provided a covering of animal skins.  (Genesis 3:21).  This act alone infers that an acceptable covering for sinners is made possible through the death of an innocent substitute.

  2. A clear understand of God's words to Satan reveals that God's plan of redemption for sinners involved the sacrifice of an innocent Substitute:  "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;  He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."  (Genesis 3:15.)

Devout  Bible scholars have agreed that God was revealing that A virgin born male would triumph over Satan through suffering.  Adam and Eve believed this truth or God would not have provided them with a covering that gave them a standing of restored righteousness in His sight.  Abel accepted God's plan of redemption that a coming Redeemer would receive the punishment for his sins.  He expressed his faith in God's plan by offering a firstborn lamb in sacrifice to God.


"And the LORD respected Abel and his offering."  (Genesis 4:4.)  Only Abel's act of faith in offering to God a lamb would make it possible for Hebrews 11:4 to state that his sacrifice gave a "witness that he was righteous." 

Cain rejected God's plan of salvation which requires sacrificial redemption.  ". . .Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD"  (Genesis 4:3).  Cain represents all those in mankind who have an inadequate sense of their sin or a need for sacrificial redemption.  Cain offered the fruit of his labor in full anticipation that it was totally sufficient for him to be accepted by God.  God rebuked Cain, warned him of the danger of his attitude and position and gave him a second opportunity to accept His way of redemption.  Cain willfully refused.  The apostle John makes this somber statement, ". . .Not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. . ."  (1st John 3:12).

For those who seek to know God the blood of Abel's lamb is a picture that speaks of blood redemption.  The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is the reality and the fulfillment.  By faith we must accept that our sins were laid on Him; that He received the full punishment for our sins and trust Him to forgive us and give us a righteousness that makes us acceptable to God.

". . .The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground."  Genesis 4:10).

Abel not only received a standing of righteousness in the eyes of God but a righteousness that began to reveal itself in every aspect of his life.  He was experiencing what Paul wrote about in Philippians 2:13, ". . .For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."  It was the true righteousness of his life that produced hostility in the heart of Cain.  ". . .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."  (1st John 3:12).

"Now Cain talked with Abel his brother. . ."  (Genesis 4:8).  We can be sure from what immediately followed that this was a confrontational discussion.  Abel was stating that his total confidence of restored relationship with God was based on sacrificial redemption.  Cain argued that the only thing that counted was his works.  Cain was so infuriated that he "rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."

Anyone who openly declares that God's plan of salvation is only made possible through the sacrificial death of Christ for sinners on the cross and appropriated only by faith in Christ to save will soon learn the anger this stirs in the hearts of those who cling to any form of salvation by the works of man.

Abel could not avenge himself because he was murdered.  If he could have risen up and avenged himself he would not have wanted to do so.  However, the LORD God Almighty quickly confronted Cain.  "What have you done?  The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground."  (Genesis 4:10).  The wrath of Cain against Abel was, in ultimate reality, against God because: 
1.  Abel was living out the qualities of God in Whose image man had been created and
2.  God was the source of everything in Abel that incensed Cain.  God has declared, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"  (Romans 12:20).

 God pronounced judgment on Cain.  It was not the death penalty because God did not enact the death penalty until after the Great Flood (See Genesis 9:5, 6).  From the moment God confronted him Cain experienced a tormenting of conscience as he realized that Abel's blood continued to cry out to God.  Cain also experienced fear that another member of the family might kill him.  God's curse on Cain was:
1.  The ground would no longer yield its strength in fruitfulness and,
2.  Cain would be a fugitive and a vagabond on earth, separated from home, family and God.


". . .But you have Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel."  (Hebrews 12:24).

The blood of Abel's lamb was a type (picture).  The blood of Jesus was the reality.
The blood of Abel's lamb spoke of that which was to come.  The blood of Jesus speaks of an accomplished act.
The blood of Abel's lamb said, "This is what I believe God will do."  The blood of Jesus says, "It is finished."
The blood of Abel's lamb procured forgiveness for Abel's sin.  The blood of Jesus provides forgiveness for all sinners.
The blood of Abel's lamb provided him a home in heaven.  The blood of Jesus opens the doors of heaven to all who will accept His sacrifice for their sin and call out to Him in faith to be their Savior.

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;. . .All we like sheep have gone astray;  We have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  (Isaiah 53:5, 6).

"For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."  (Romans 10:13).

Copyright 2002 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted

    Copyright 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.