Thursday, May 28
“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts…” – Hebrews 11:4
If you ever attended Sunday School as a child, you probably were taught about the story of Cain and Abel. In case you don’t, Adam and Eve had two sons; Cain and Abel both prepared an offering to God. Cain offered the fruit of the ground that he had grown. This pleased God. On the other hand, Abel offered the firstborn of his flock to the Lord. The Bible says that God had “no regard” for this offering. This made Cain very angry and jealous toward his brother and he ends up actually killing Abel in a field.
Interestingly, this story can be very relatable to us today. How we present ourselves to God can appear one of two ways. We could be like Cain and present all our efforts, our works, our capabilities to Him as if this makes our standards with God more excellent. On the contrary, we could choose to take the route Abel did. Abel remembers what his father Adam shared with him. When Adam and Eve first committed sin in the garden of Eden, God covered them in animal skin. This was a beautiful display of a sacrifice for their sins. Humanity had never witnessed death. God demonstrated the first death as an innocent and perfect sacrifice for the ones He loved.
As Abel thought of this act of grace, he had an understanding that this is what covered his sins. Knowing that there was no work or effort he could demonstrate to get right with God, he offered his firstborn animal to God. How much more amazing it is to know that God sent us Jesus, His firstborn, to be presented for all mankind. The Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world, was offered up for our brokenness and shame. Friends, we do not have to hand God our successes for His acceptance. Religion will try to convince you that you have to give God your best and you cannot fail Him. Jesus is the ultimate payment that has perfected us for all time (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus made us pleasing to God once and for all!