The Blood of Christ and Abel

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (1 Cor. 15:16,17)(ESV)

Why is this so? Why would the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God lose its efficacy if the Resurrection had not happened? The shedding of blood is the shedding of blood, is it not?

And that is the point.

The writer of Hebrews says that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24). Blood pollutes the land and guilt rises up to infect the inhabitants (Deut. 21:1-9), and this is intensified when we consider the blood shed from the first murder. Abel’s blood cries out against the earth itself and against God’s image bearers.

Jesus, God’s perfect image bearer, finally answers the crying out for justice with his own blood and drowns out the noise.

And yet we are left with more innocent blood. The levies of Abel’s blood were simply overwhelmed with the pure blood of Christ. And innocent blood cries out. If anything we are more doomed, and our sentence even greater, for we absorb the guilt brought on by the murder of the Son of God. The sons of Adam are all culpable. We have Christ’s blood on our hands.

Without the Resurrection, this is where are left, still in our sins. End of story.

But there is no gnostic “gospel.”  Christ bodily rose from the dead. The sentence was reversed. Death itself was swallowed up. The blood of Christ still remains sprinkled on the earth, but the song it sings is now a different tune.

Thanks to the Resurrection, the blood crying out for condemnation now cries out for mercy and atonement. Thanks be to God for this wonderful gift.

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One thought on “The Blood of Christ and Abel”

  1. God’s narrative is about two who had their blood shed, two seeds, two kinds of people, two destinies.

    The one who shed Abel’s blood was his brother because he was angry, but the one who shed the blood of Christ (the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world) was God who was gracious.

    Cain was the first seed of the first man (Adam). Christ was the seed of the first woman (Gen. 3:15) and was the second Adam, and is also the seed promised to Abraham (Gal. 3:16).

    The name Cain means possessor; he looked to this life and its possessions, and was the first son without faith. The name Abel means transitoriness, which he knew this life is. He was the first son with the faith (Hebrews 11:4) of those who are strangers and pilgrims and look for the life to come.

    Those without faith have a woeful destiny. When Jesus talked to these kind of people he called them “this generation” (Luke 11:47-51). Abel he specifically mentioned as the first from the foundation of the world they will be required to pay for.

    Paul encourages us, the faith generation:
    “But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in Christ]”(1 Cor. 15:20).

    In Matthew 24 Jesus talked of his coming and of the two people and their two destinies (verses 37-41). What few realise is that he had already introduced this in verses 34-36 with his use of “this generation” and “pass away”.

    So Hallelujah. The shedding of Christ’s blood means he has tasted death in our place (Hebrews 2:9, 14-15), and our destiny is not to pass away but be with him forever. Come, Lord Jesus.

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