Contend Earnestly: Exposition of Cain and Abel: Part III

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Exposition of Cain and Abel: Part III

The Punishment of Sin

I am not going to spend a great deal of time here. But, the punishment of sin is death in eternal torment in hell. It is unbearable and is related to fire consuming the body that will not die and the worm will feed on forever.

Read the rest of our passage: Verses 9-16

We don’t have to cover all that we have here. But notice that the punishment given to Cain that was so hard was that he was going to be cast away from the presence of God. That too will be same for those who will not repent, but will be cast away from the presence of God.

Have you ever had someone try and describe a place, maybe its beauty, and you get there and it is just a lot more grander than they could describe? That is what we have in the Bible. When things are described, either the things in heaven or hell, they are always more than what is being described. Whether the agony of Christ on the cross, to the majestic beings in heaven, or the worst case; the agony of hell. When you think of fire, the only thing we can compare it to is the fire here on earth that consumes what it is burning until there is nothing more to consume. But in hell, we are told that the flames of hell will never consume your body but will continue to feed upon the body forever. We can’t grasp this idea.

Here, we also have a picture of hell. And Cain said it was too much to bear. The thought of being cast out of the presence of God, with Him hiding His face from those in hell, is an intense thought.

Throw out the worthless slave into athe outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:30

Notice that Cain, after he has not heeded the words of the Lord tells God that the punishment is too severe. We say this all the time. We say that if “so and so” goes to hell, that it isn’t fair, yet it is by their sin that they are sent there, not God’s and not ours, but their’s. It may seem harsh, it may seem unfair, but we don’t understand what it means to sin against an infinitely good and holy God.

The Cleansing by the Blood

I will not end with the bad news, I will end with the eternal good news of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are some parallels that we can draw between Abel and Christ. Of course, every parallel, we see that Christ was truly the greater Abel.

They were both innocent men murdered by Pharisees. I feel as though Cain is a type of Pharisee, we can see that in his actions and thoughts.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 2:21-25

Abel was actually the first in line for the holy line of the Christ. So, Abel was the firstborn of the dead, meaning that he was the first to be resurrected from death to life to be in heaven with God. We see that Christ though is the preeminent firstborn of the dead.

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Colossians 1:18

Both the blood of Abel and the blood of Christ spoke.

The interesting thing that we find in this passage is what did Abel’s blood speak? It spoke judgment.

Look again to verses 10 and 11.

It is the same idea of those martyred when they speak in Revelation 6:10

and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Revelation 6:10

The first blood by a martyr in the Bible, Abel, spoke judgment. But Christ’s spoke differently.

What is interesting is the people that murdered Jesus saw it as the same as any other death.

And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”
Matthew 27:25

To get even more specific, Hebrews 12:24 states

and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:24

The word for “better” means to be more advantageous, which cannot be more true. Abel’s blood cried out judgment, punishment and justice. Christ’s blood, instead of judgment on the children of those that murdered Christ, cries out for mercy from God.

but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—
Revelation 1:5

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13

Lastly, just when you thought that Christ was killed forever and not to return, He was resurrected. In the same way, as Eve was thinking that the promised seed had just been killed forever and not to return, God resurrected the line of the seed to come.

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.
Genesis 4:25-26

When you read the line of Christ in Luke 3:36-38 it ends with the line of Christ being told to be:

the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God

How great a God we serve.

Far more delightful is the fact that another and more melodious cry went up to heaven from the cross of Calvary. “Father, forgive them,” resounded from the wounds of Immanuel. The blood of Abel was not voiceless, and the blood of Jesus was not dumb; it cried so as to be heard amid the thrones of heaven, and blessed be God, it spoke for us and not against us; it spoke not worse things, as it might well have done, but better things than that of Abel. It did not demand fiercer vengeance than that which fell upon Cain, it did not ask that we might be driven vagabonds and fugitives upon the face of the earth, and to be at last banished from God into hell forever, but it cried, “Father, forgive them,” and it prevailed, and the curse was taken away, and a blessing came to the sons of men.
Charles Spurgeon

We learn much of Cain and Abel, possibly the most meaningless that one can learn is that it was the first murder, for that is just a fact, but when you dig in the bottomless depths of knowledge this passage has to offer you will then find its treasure, and that is that although we sin, Christ’s blood cries our for our mercy, for this is not merely fact, but it is also eternal life, and that my friends, should be the cry of our hearts.


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