Heb. 11:4 ¶ 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 he being dead still speaks.
Blood can be a very powerful image. What was it that made Abel’s offering better than Cain’s ? It had to go back to a conversation with their father that was imprinted in the minds of Cain and Abel. After all, these brothers had a very interesting perspective on life, they were the sons of Adam. You know they had to ask their dad the question, “What was it like, Dad, before you and mom ate the forbidden fruit? What did He look like?” And this brings us to what Adam had to say, “The only way back in to Paradise is through the offering of blood”. This is what made Abel’s offering better than Cain’s. Abel knew we could come into God’s presence through the blood. Cain tried to come in another way. Abel’s offering of faith teaches us a second lesson, Abel was also offering himself to God by faith. He not only offered the sacrificial blood, he also offered himself to God. Here is how Andrew Murray describes the offering of Abel.
“It was an act of faith; he counted that the sacrifice would be acceptable, and that with it he would be accepted too. On the other hand, the sacrifice was the offering and yielding up himself to God and His service. He knew it was something that lay in the very nature and spirit of a true sacrifice, that it could not be pleasing to God if he offered the lamb, and kept back himself. No, the sacrifice was the double confession-that he was unworthy to offer himself to God without atonement, but that, believing that in the sacrifice he was accepted, he gave himself to God’s worship and service, he gave himself to the very death, to die to self and live to God.”
The story of Abel is the beginning of our walk of faith. We too can come to God through the blood of the cross. This is the way into the presence of God that the Lord made available to us, it is the only way in. Just like Abel, we also offer ourselves to God. This is what Jesus meant when He said we must pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Abel taught us the way in to God’s glory, he also taught us how to die to ourselves. This is the beginning of our life of faith.